Brilliant Brazil turn on the style
Richarlison celebrates his purpose with Marquinhos
It says quite a bit about the bewildering degree of technical capability on this Brazil facet that it was their centre-backs, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva, who mixed to arrange Richarlison’s sensible third purpose.
From entrance to again, they had been all at it, toying with South Korea and administering brutal punishment, their dazzling first-half show – albeit against poor opposition – a reminder of why Brazil, though sluggish starters at this match, are favourites to win it.
Richarlison’s strike, which featured him juggling the ball on his head in the construct-up, was the decide of the 4. The Tottenham ahead, scorer of a sensational overhead kick against Serbia, seems to be working his personal private purpose of the match competitors.
- Brazil 4-1 South Korea – Match report
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
But there was lots to take pleasure in about the others too.
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For the opener, there was Raphinha skinning his man to create the probability, then Vinicius Jr taking the ball beneath his spell and bending it round 4 South Korean gamers on the purpose-line.
For the fourth, there was the Real Madrid man turning supplier, his delicate, lofted centre discovering the onrushing Lucas Paqueta with out the want for him to break his stride.
There had been many extra moments to savour in between, from the dancing celebrations, one among which concerned their supervisor in the dugout, to the showboating brilliance that drew gasps from the crowd.
This was Brazil as we all know them.
South Korea had been accommodating opponents, however the velocity, precision and sheer enjoyment of Brazil’s show evoked reminiscences of their finest sides. At the finish, the gamers held up a banner in assist of Pele as he watched from his hospital mattress in Sao Paulo. The nice man likely permitted of what he noticed. Brazil have arrived.
Alisson prepared for harder exams forward
Alisson produced various high quality saves to deny South Korea extra objectives of their final-16 tie
Alisson wouldn’t have been anticipated to have been in competition for Player of the Match as Brazil took on South Korea. Less nonetheless after the 4-1 thrashing they unleashed.
But the Liverpool goalkeeper, overwhelmed for the first time in the match by a second-half Seung-Ho Paik stunner, had his work lower out in Stadium 974 with various fantastic saves to maintain Brazil’s progress extra routine than it may have been.
He was at full stretch to get fingertips to a Hee-Chan Hwang roller which might have overwhelmed lots of his World Cup colleagues earlier than the half-time break.
He denied the similar participant with a sprawling cease after the interval, and went on to produce one other very good save to maintain out an offside effort from Heung-Min Son – not that he knew it at the time.
Coupled along with his all the time-glorious distribution and high quality on the ball, it was a reassuring show for the Brazil backline who didn’t all the time attain the heights of their goalkeeper’s defensive efficiency.
There is little doubt about the high quality of the South American’s assault. With Alisson between the sticks, their backline too seems to be extra akin to that of a world champion.
Roy Keane’s verdict was unequivocal.
“Alisson will be disappointed with conceding a goal. There’s not much he can do with it, there’s a couple of deflections on the way.
“We’ve mentioned it earlier than – an impressive goalkeeper.”
Brazil should be prepared for a Croatia marathon
Mario Pasalic celebrates with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic
Second is the new first when it comes to penalty shootouts – and Croatia do not thoughts defying the odds both.
The victory over Japan was the seventh consecutive set of spot kicks received by the facet capturing second, with Croatia pleased to go the distance once more in the knockout levels. They have turn out to be one among the hardest sides to beat in current tournaments.
- Japan 1-1 Croatia AET (1-3 on pens) – Match report
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
At the final World Cup, they held their nerve to progress previous each Denmark and Russia on penalties earlier than seeing off England after further-time to attain the last. At Euro 2020, they had been undone in further-time by Spain having suffered the similar destiny to Portugal in 2016. Croatia don’t exit simply.
Croatia could also be an ageing facet however there are nonetheless some marathons left in them but. Against a Japan group stuffed with vitality and working, the Croats slowly however certainly floor them down, suffocated their assaults and broke their will. Then their expertise got here by means of in the shootout.
Croatia will pose a totally totally different problem to Brazil than South Korea. Neymar and co should be prepared for a battle till the final second.
Livakovic makes the distinction for Croatia
Croatia goalkeeper Livakovic saved three Japan penalties in the shootout
Japan’s penalties had been nervous. Tentative. But two of these stopped by Dominik Livakovic had been sure for the nook. The whole submit-shot anticipated-purpose worth of these 4 penalties was over three. Only one beat him. These had been good stops by the Croatia goalkeeper.
For all the discuss of Croatian expertise, the largest names – Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic – had already been substituted. It fell to their 27-12 months-previous goalkeeper, enjoying in his first World Cup knockout sport, to make the distinction.
Livakovic had confronted 54 profession penalties earlier than this match, with a conversion price of 74 per cent against him. The common conversion price is round 78 per cent, related to that of the Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. The stats had been on his facet. Livakovic backed it up.
Hope for Japan regardless of extra final-16 heartbreak
Japan gamers are dejected after struggling defeat to Croatia
If Japan’s performances in previous World Cups informed us something, it was that they might fail to make it out of a gaggle containing earlier winners Germany and Spain, plus Costa Rica.
Dating again to 1998, the Asian facet had alternated between exiting at the group stage and the final 16 each 4 years. Given they made it to the first knockout stage in 2018, falling at the opening hurdle this time spherical appeared inevitable – notably as soon as they had been drawn in such a difficult group.
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But Hajime Moriyasu’s facet tore up the script in Qatar. Not solely did they make it out of their group however they did so after ending prime thanks to wins over Germany and Spain.
With the group-stage exit/final-16 exit sample ended, Japan’s subsequent problem was lastly making it to their first World Cup quarter-last.
Japan had appeared in three earlier final-16 encounters, struggling coronary heart-breaking defeats on every event. A 1-0 loss to Turkey noticed them knocked out of their house match in 2002, Paraguay beat them on penalties in 2010 and they threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to Belgium in 2018.
Japan can add 2022 to that listing of emotional defeats. After going toe-to-toe with Croatia, the 2018 runners-up, for 120 minutes, a dreadful set of penalties ended their World Cup marketing campaign and prompted tears amongst the squad.
But Japan can take coronary heart from their achievements in Qatar. Their wins over Germany and Spain will go down as two of the largest shocks of the match, whereas they had been one among solely 9 groups who made it to the 2018 knockout levels to accomplish that once more 4 years later.
“Japan is reaching a level where we can play on the world stage,” Moriyasu mentioned after full-time. While Croatia’s knockout-stage savvy finally proved insurmountable, Japan can confidently declare to have established themselves as a group to be revered – maybe even feared – internationally.
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