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HomePost Match AnalysisWorld Cup 2022: Croatia & Argentina reach semi-finals on penalties

World Cup 2022: Croatia & Argentina reach semi-finals on penalties

Croatia caused the biggest shock of the World Cup so far by knocking out Brazil in a penalty shootout. Argentina, who required a shootout victory against the Netherlands, will face them in the semi-finals.

 

Croatia dumped Brazil out of the World Cup

Favorite of the tournament, Brazil was eliminated from the World Cup on penalties, as Croatia maintained their composure to advance to the semi-finals.

Rodrygo, taking his team’s first penalty kick, was stopped by the brilliant Dominik Livakovic, and Marquinhos’ pivotal fourth attempt hit the post. Croatia scored all four of their penalty kicks.

After a riveting 90 minutes, Neymar’s thunderous effort to tie Brazil’s “official” men’s goalscoring record gave Tite’s team hope that they had won it in extra time.

However, Croatia’s substitute Bruno Petkovic had other plans and scored an equalizer in the 117th minute with Croatia’s first chance on goal to force the tense shootout.

And it was the European team that triumphed once more, having done so in the same way against Japan in the round of 16, to secure a Tuesday semi-final matchup with Argentina.

Tite steps down as Brazil manager after World Cup exit

Following Brazil’s exit from the World Cup and at the expiration of his contract, Tite has said that he will step down from his position as manager of the Selecao.

Tite announced his decision to leave the Brazil national team after the game.

At a press conference, he said, “A sad defeat, but I’m at peace with myself. It’s the end of my cycle.”

“I’m not a two-faced guy. Anyone who knows me knows I wasn’t playing to win and then creating drama to stay. I already decided about this over a year and a half ago.”

“Before, it was a recovery process, but now it had an actual sequel, so it was a whole procedure.”

When questioned about his overall management of Brazil, Tite replied: “Time will only tell.”

“Even though I’m only a person, the suffering… There is a lot of feeling. I need help assessing every aspect of the work done.”

Argentina into the semi-finals after a penalty shootout win over the Netherlands

After a tense quarterfinal at Lusail Stadium, Argentina defeated the Netherlands on penalties to preserve Lionel Messi’s World Cup dream.

Ten minutes before halftime, Messi assisted Nahuel Molina in scoring the game’s first goal. He then added the second goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Denzel Dumfries fouled Marcos Acuna.

Wout Weghorst, a substitute, spearheaded a remarkable comeback by scoring twice in Louis van Gaal’s final game as the Dutch coach, the second coming after an outrageous free-kick routine 11 minutes into stoppage time.

Aston Villa’s Argentine goalkeeper Emi Martinez emerged as the game’s hero after saving from Steven Berghuis and Virgil van Dijk during penalties in a match with numerous flashpoints, including 17 yellow cards and a red card for Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries at the conclusion.

Lionel Messi slams referee Mateu Lahoz after securing a semi-final spot

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz upset Lionel Messi as Argentina somehow advanced to the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.

But on a night filled with intense drama, including a Dutch equalizer in the 101st minute, Spanish official Lahoz was the center of attention at the end of the game.

After a series of confrontations between opposing players and coaches, the referee issued a World Cup record 16 yellow cards, including a second booking after the shootout for Denzel Dumfries.

After the game, Messi was questioned about Lahoz, and the former Barcelona star was visibly upset by the scenario.

Messi declared, “I don’t want to talk about the referee because you can’t be honest.”

“If you speak up, you get punished. FIFA needs to give this some thought; they cannot have a referee like that in certain situations.”

“You can’t bring in a referee who isn’t qualified. We were scared going into the game because we knew what to expect from him.”

Messi appeared to fight with Dutch replacement Wout Weghorst during his post-game media responsibilities after Argentina secured a matchup with Croatia on December 13.

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