World Cup 2022 quarterfinals: Two penalty shootouts sees Argentina, Croatia move on; top-ranked Brazil, Netherlands out
The men’s FIFA World Cup quarterfinals kicked off on Friday as teams moved one step closer to claiming the game’s most coveted trophy.
Up first, top-ranked Brazil crashed out of the tournament after a stunning loss to Croatia in a penalty shootout, before the second shootout of the day saw Argentina prevail over the Netherlands.
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Here is what went down in Qatar.
ARGENTINA VS. NETHERLANDS
Lionel Messi and Argentina had to dig deep to beat the Netherlands after a thrilling 2-2 draw went to penalties.
Much like the day's first quarterfinal, the opening 45 minutes between Argentina and the Netherlands was cagey.
Neither team registered a shot on target until magic man Messi fed the ball through to Nahuel Molina in the box, and the defender gave Argentina a 1-0 lead.
Coming out in the second half, the Dutch struggled to find a spark on the pitch, and a mistake allowed Messi to turn things 2-0 from the penalty spot as goalkeeper Andries Noppert was left flat-footed.
The Netherlands, however, ensured the match ended with some drama.
Wout Weghorst scored two late goals, including the equalizer with the last play of the game in the 11th minute of stoppage time, to send the match into extra time.
In between the strikes, an on-pitch brawl took place between both teams.
Neither side could find the back of the net again in the next 30 minutes seeing the game go to penalties. In the end, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the difference maker and the South Americans moved on.
Argentina will now face Croatia in the semi-finals.
BRAZIL VS. CROATIA
Croatia pulled off a shock upset of Brazil in a penalty shootout after barely hanging on during the 120 minutes of play.
Brazil huffed and puffed and Neymar finally blew Croatia's house down in the 105th minute for a 1-0 lead. It all seemed settled, Croatia still hadn't had a shot on target at that point.
All they have done in this tournament is survive, though, and a Bruno Petkovic deflected equalizer in the 117th minute, against the run of play, gave Croatia hope.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic had been spectacular for Croatia, making a series of saves in the second half including twice denying Neymar.
In the shootout, he delivered for a second consecutive match by saving Brazil's first attempt by Rodrygo.
Croatia didn't miss a single penalty and clinched the win when Brazil's Marquinhos fired his attempt against the left post.
All of Croatia’s knockout matches since 1998 at both the World Cup and European Championships have gone to extra time, except the 2018 World Cup final, which they lost 4-2 to France in regular time.
Croatia will now face Argentina in the semi-finals.
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has dismissed rumours that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the World Cup after being omitted from the starting XI.
Qatar is investigating the death of a migrant worker who reportedly was killed while doing repairs at a resort.
Luis Enrique has been replaced by Luis de la Fuente as Spain’s head coach after the team’s exit in the Round of 16.
After a break-in at his home near London, Raheem Sterling left England’s World Cup camp but has now returned to Qatar.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s action, the mouth-watering quarterfinals continue with four more teams eyeing a spot in the semifinals.
- Portugal vs. Morocco at 9:45 a.m. on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5
- France vs. England at 1:45 p.m. on TSN 1, 3, 4, 5
All times listed are Eastern Standard Time.