Friday, 9 December 2022

Croatia Beats Brazil on Penalties for 2022 World Cup Semi-final!!!

December 9, 2022 - WHAT A MATCH! Croatia beats Brazil on penalties for the 2022 World Cup semi-final!

Croatia and Brazil met at Education City Stadium in the first 2022 World Cup quarter-final on Friday, December 9, at 6 pm local time. 

Croatia beat Japan on penalties in the round of 16 match on Monday. Croatia's hero was Dominik Livaković, who saved three penalties to send Croatia into the quarter-final. 

Croatia has played Brazil four times, recording three defeats and one draw. The last time Brazil and Croatia met was in June 2018 as part of their World Cup preparations.

While Croatia has not lost in a World Cup quarter-final, Brazil was knocked out by European teams in the quarter-final in 2006, 2010, and 2018. 


Croatia: Livaković – Juranović. Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa – Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić – Pašalić, Kramarić, Perišić

Alisson - Militao, Marquinos, T. Silva, Danilo - Casemiro - Raphinha, Paqueta, Neymar, Vinicius - Richarlison

Match report 

Croatia won the coin toss to kick off first. Croatia had their first free kick in the 3rd minute when Kovacic was fouled. Vinicius tried shooting in the 5th minute, which was an easy save for Livakovic. 

Croatia did well in keeping possession in the first 10 minutes, with the defense clearing any dangerous attacks. 

Croatia's first chance at goal came in the 12th minute. Juranovic made an incredible run into the middle and played Pasalic on the wing, who crossed into the box. Kovacic and Perisic both missed the cross. 

Croatia's first corner came in the 14th minute. It was cleared by the Brazil defense, but Croatia won back the ball. Modric crossed into the box, but Brazil cleared it out again. 

Croatia denied Brazil too much space. Brazil tried attacking again in the 20th minute, which was blocked by the Croatia defense. Neymar hit a light shot on goal to Livakovic. 

Casemiro shot on goal in the 22nd minute, which was deflected off the Croatia defense for Brazil's first corner. 

A seriously ugly play by Danilo on Juranovic in the 25th minute. Danilo's high kick with cleats up at Juranovic's head gave Croatia a free-kick right outside the box. Brazil's defense cleared the play. 

A questionable call for Brazil in the 28th minute awarded them a free kick, cleared by the Croatia defense. 

Brozovic was shown a yellow card in the 30th minute. 

Croatia played stunning football for the next 5 minutes, maintaining possession and calming down the play. 

Brazil regained possession in the next 5 minutes but was unable to create any dangerous attacks for a goal. But the ref awarded Brazil a free kick outside the box after a soft foul on Vinicius. Neymar's shot on goal luckily deflected and went into Livakovic's hands. 

The ref added one minute of stoppage time. The first half ended 0-0 with 48% possession for Croatia. 

The second start started without any changes on either side. 

Gvardiol saved the day yet again on a nearly open chance for Brazil in the 47th minute. A penalty check for Brazil held the game up slightly in the next minute, which was ultimately called offside for Croatia's ball. 

Croatia's first corner of the second half came in the 49th minute. Kramaric was called offside. 

Juranovic intercepted the ball in the 53rd minute and carried the ball into Brazil's half. He played the ball to Perisic on the other side of the pitch who was just off finding Pasalic's head for the goal. 

Livakovic brilliantly saved Neymar's shot on goal in the 55th minute. 

Brail subbed off Raphina for Antony in the 55th minute.

Croatia was dangerous in the 58th minute and stopped a quick Brazil counterattack. 

Brazil subbed off Vinicius for Rodrygo in the 64th minute. 

Brozovic fouled Neymar in the 65th minute and needed to be careful about getting a second yellow. 

Livakovic - Croatia's lifesaver - saved another dangerous Brazil shot on goal. 

Casemiro was shown a yellow card for fouling Kramaric in the 68th minute. 

Kramaric was subbed off for Petkovic and Vlasic or Pasalic in the 72nd minute. 

Livakovic again saved a quick Brazil counterattack, which went out for a Brazil corner. 

By the 80th minute, Brazil had a few more scary chances, cleared by Livakovic and Croatia's defense. 

Richarlison was subbed off for Pedro in the 84th minute. 

Croatia's defense was brilliant in the block on Brazil's counterattacks. 

The ref added 4 minutes of extra time. 

Brazil had a corner in the 91st minute, cleared by the Croatia defense. 

The match ended 0-0 and went into extra time.  

Croatia, the kings of extra time at the World Cup - could they do it?

Brazil had a corner in their first attack, which went out for Croatia's ball. 

Croatia was closing them off in any attack, and Croatia was trying to keep possession. 

Croatia had a brilliant attack in the 102nd minute when Petkvovic held the ball up top before playing it to Brozovic. Brozovic was alone at the top of the box and shot over the goal. 

One minute of stoppage time was added to the first half. 

But Neymar found the back of the net. Livakovic committed too early to Neymar, who scored for 1-0 Brazil in the final seconds of the first half. 

Majer was subbed on for Kovacic to start the second half of extra time. 

Perisic played two brilliant balls into the box, which were too strong for Croatia's attack. 

Croatia had a corner in the 109th minute. Croatia subbed on Budimir for Sosa in the same minute. 

Orsic came on for Brozovic in the 114th minute. 

Brazil had a corner in the 114th minute and then a free kick outside the box seconds later. 

But this Croatia came out to play. And a stunning Orisic-Perisic play saw Croatia equalize in the 117th minute!!!!! Petkovic found the back of the net. It was 1-1 with a few minutes before penalties!!!

Majer had a brilliant shot on goal in the 119th minute. Two minutes of stoppage time were added. 

Croatia cleared Brazil's last dangerous free kick. Livakovic was absolutely brilliant again. What a keeper. 

And the match went into penalties. 

Vlasic was up first for Croatia and scored for 1-0 Croatia!

Livakovic saved Brazil's first penalty!!!!!! The king! 

Majer scored Croatia's next penalty for 2-0 Croatia!!!

Casemiro scored Brazil's next penalty - 2-1. 

Luka Modric scored Croatia's next pen for 3-1!!!! 

Pedro scored for 3-2. 

Orsic scored for 4-2 Croatia!!!!!

And Brazil missed their final penalty!!!!! Croatia is in the SEMIFINAL!!!!!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 8 December 2022

Dalić and Modrić ahead of World Cup Quarter-final against Brazil: "We Want More"

December 8, 2022 - Croatia and Brazil will meet in the 2022 World Cup quarter-final on Friday at Education City Stadium. Kick-off is at 6 pm local tie or 4 pm Croatia time.

The Croatia national football team will face the biggest test at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Friday - the quarter-final match against Brazil.

Brazil is the favorite to win the World Cup, which would be their sixth title in history and first in the last 20 years. They played brilliantly in their last-16 tie against South Korea, winning 4-1, while Croatia struggled against Japan, advancing only after penalties. 

At the last press conference before the match, coach Zlatko Dalić and captain Luka Modrić expressed their thoughts.

"I think we did a very big thing by reaching the quarter-final, but regardless, I want more. We know that perhaps the biggest game of the tournament awaits us against one of the biggest favorites. They are always the favorites, but at this World Cup they are rightfully so. We have to be real, give our best, and play our best game and then we have a chance. If we just settle for being there, then it will be difficult, but we believe in our strength, and that is how we will position ourselves on the pitch tomorrow," said Modrić.

Are all the players ready, and will there be any changes?

"There was not much time for preparation, and today we will train and prepare. Sosa trained, we won't make many changes. Placing among the eight with an almost new national team is a great success. But we will play fair, try to fight for something better," said Dalić.

Can Luka's knowledge of Casemiro and Vinicius help Croatia?

"Vini is a great guy, we have a great relationship, he is in incredible shape, and since he came to Real, he has improved greatly. Tomorrow we have a difficult task to stop him. I will surely help my teammates with details on how to neutralize him more easily. Everyone is fighting for himself and their country." 

Which of Croatia's past matches will the game against Brazil be most similar to?

"This will be the most demanding match for us. Maybe we would compare it to the final in Moscow against France if we were to compare. Out of 11 games at two World Cups, we did well in ten and only lost to France. Croatia is the only smaller country that, after success at one World Cup, repeated it at another, maybe the only one in history that immediately after the final made it to the top eight at the next World Cup," says Dalić.

"I agree with the coach, the final against France is similar to tomorrow's match, that's the ranking," Modrić continued.

What does Dalić think about Brazil's dancing after scoring?

"That makes them happy; they have their nature and character, and they have the right to that. It is their nation, and it looks beautiful."

Does Dalić think that this is a stronger Croatia team than from 2018?

"This is a new national team with 18 new players who did not play then, and it cannot be compared. That generation played together for ten years; those players played in the world's biggest clubs. This team is different, we need time, but they are lucky to have the remaining six from Russia with whom they can grow. These guys still have many games to prove themselves, but they have potential and quality."

What is the key to tomorrow?

"We played against Brazil several times and haven't beaten them yet, but I hope this tradition will change. Brazil has phenomenal players in all positions, so we will have to be very aggressive, run at the right level, not let them play; that will be very important," says Modrić.

Did Modrić watch Brazil's loss to Cameroon?

"I didn't have the chance to watch the match between Brazil and Cameroon, but Brazil did not play with the strongest team in that match. Of course, this is not a benchmark, but it certainly indicates that they can be defeated."

Does Croatia expect another extra time finish on Friday?

"If it comes to that, that last match with Japan gave us great confidence. Each match is for itself, we will see what will happen, but we are ready for anything."

How would Dalić compare Croatia's game against Argentina in 2018 and against Brazil tomorrow?

"Maybe they are similar games, but then we had Argentina in the group stage, and this is the knockout round. Of course, we will apply a similar recipe to narrow down the space for Neymar, but I think he has better support from his teammates than Messi did four years ago."

Do they consider Brazil a big favorite in tomorrow's game?

"They always favor big teams, but we have shown many times that the favorites don't always win. We appreciate every national team and their qualities, but we also appreciate ourselves," Modrić replied.

Did Croatia learn from Serbia's defeat to Brazil?

"We watched that match. Serbia played great for an hour, but they got nervous when some situations started. Until Brazil scored, the game was almost even. Brazil played after the goal, and Serbia could not follow that rhythm and fell. We must not do that; we must be disciplined and return to our formation. Serbia played well until they conceded a goal, said Dalić.

Will Modrić continue playing for Croatia?

"I can repeat that I don't think about the future. We'll see how long I'll be around. I am concentrating on this World Cup; there will be time to consider the future. I don't have a tactic for rejuvenation like there was for growth. If you have it, let me know," Luka jokingly replied to the journalist.

What can we expect from Croatia tomorrow?

"We play the way we play; sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. But we always do our best. We will see what Croatia will be like tomorrow. We are ready, we will give our best, and I believe we can do a great thing," says Modrić.

Journalists also asked Luka to comment on the strength of Brazil and Argentina.

"These are giants of world football, two world teams with many great players. I enjoy watching them; playing against such teams is a pleasure. Playing against them is a holiday for football and something everyone wants, especially in big competitions like the World Cup."

Brazil is dangerous from all sides.

"Brazil is the best team at this World Cup, faster, more energetic, and more diverse than others, and they can come from all sides. They use all the templates; you don't know where the danger comes from. We have no chance if we give them too much space and time. We want to try to get the ball. We must position ourselves well, not fall out of the system and block, and constantly play as a team. It is important not to give them space because it is difficult when they receive the ball."

Why did Dalić replace Modrić so early in the match against Japan?

"It wasn't early; it was the 100th minute. We talked, me and Luka always agreed; I didn't decide on my own. We ran a lot, I had to refresh the team, and I had to make substitutions. We passed, and it turned out well. Luka will always play as long as he can. That's why Luka will be more rested tomorrow than if he had played 120 minutes," Dalić believes.

Tomorrow Modrić is playing against many Real Madrid teammates.

"I am looking forward to playing against former and current teammates. Of course, we will be friends before and after the game, but everyone is fighting for their country and for themselves on the field."

How will coach Dalić motivate the players?

"You don't need a bigger motive than the World Cup quarter-final against Brazil. I'm sure these guys dreamed of such matches. We don't have much to lose; we must fight back as best we can. We have already achieved great success but want more, although we would prefer to play them in the final."

Does Modrić miss Rakitić in the midfield?

"Unfortunately, Ivan is not with us, but Mateo is here, who replaced him very well. So we are good again, maybe not as in Russia, but we have an excellent team."

How is Croatia so successful in sports with less than four million inhabitants?

"Croatia is very talented; we have talents in all sports, not only in football. I don't have a particular explanation. We love sports; talents are born, and good work is done in football schools, where a lot of work is done with children. We are a talented nation; it's hard for me to say why that is," concluded captain Modrić. 

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

OECD Opens Membership Negotiations with Croatia

ZAGREB, 26 Jan 2022 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday it had opened accession discussions with Croatia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Romania, and Bulgaria.

"There is no deadline for completion of the accession processes. The outcome and timeline depend on each candidate country’s capacity to adapt and adjust to align with the Organisation’s standards and best practices," the OECD said.

The process will include an in-depth evaluation by more than 20 technical committees of the candidates' alignment with OECD standards, policies, and practices.

"Croatia is ready to start OECD membership negotiations. Besides the Schengen Area and eurozone, our priority is OECD membership whereby we will strengthen our economy and Croatia's international standing and influence," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Twitter.

The OECD's main values are individual liberty, democracy, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and open, trading, competitive, sustainable and transparent market economies. The OECD also promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth and climate change.

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann pointed out that "candidate countries will be able to use the accession process to promote further reforms for the benefit of their people, while also strengthening the OECD as a like-minded community committed to a rules-based international order."

The technical reviews will focus on open trade and investment, public governance, anti-corruption efforts, and the effective protection of the environment and climate.

Once all the technical committees have completed their reviews, a final decision will be taken by unanimity of all OECD member countries.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Brazilian Navy Training Ship Docks in Split

ZAGREB, September 1, 2019 - The Brazilian Navy's training ship BRASIL (U27) sailed into Split's Lora naval port on Friday night, where it will stay until September 3 on a visit to the Croatian Navy and the City of Split, the Croatian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

The visit is part of the military cooperation between the two countries' navies. On Monday, the ship's commander, Captain Alexandre Bessa de Oliveira, and a delegation will visit the Fleet Admiral Sveto Letica-Barba barracks for talks with Croatian Navy officers.

The BRASIL is 130 metres long, 13.52 m wide and 30.72 m in mast height, and sails at 15 knots. The crew comprises 31 officers, 228 non-commissioned officers, sailors and civilians, and 227 cadets.

The ship was built in Rio de Janeiro in 1983 and visited Dubrovnik in 1987 and Split in 1988.

More news about relations between Croatia and Brazil can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

President Concludes Tour of South America

ZAGREB, March 21, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on Tuesday visited Sao Paolo, the last destination of her tour of South American countries, and she returns to Zagreb on Wednesday, her associates said.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Croatian President Begins Visit to Brazil

ZAGREB, March 20, 2018 - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović held talks with the governor of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckmin on Monday evening, at the beginning of her two-day working visit to Brazil, the Office of the Croatian President said in a press release.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Croatian President Leaves for Tour of South America

ZAGREB, March 10, 2018 - Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is flying to South America on Saturday, and the first stop of her Latin American tour, which will last until 20 March, is Argentina, and after that she will fly to Chile and Brazil.