One of the most prolific teams in men’s international soccer and a rising power of the last decade booked spots in the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals on Monday.
Brazil thumped South Korea 4-1 to reach its eighth straight quarterfinal at the World Cup.
Croatia defeated Japan in penalty kicks to make it to the final eight for its second consecutive World Cup.
The South American and European sides will square off Friday in the quarterfinals. The winner of that match will face either the Netherlands or Argentina in the semifinals.
Brazil 4, South Korea 1
Brazil wasted no time making a statement in the knockout round.
Vinicius Junior’s seventh-minute strike started a four-goal onslaught in the first half by the Seleção.
Neymar found himself on the scoresheet in the 13th minute when he converted a penalty. Richarlison earned the penalty kick by sneaking in front of a defender to win the ball in the box.
Neymar needs one more goal to equal Pelé's all-time scoring record for the Seleção and two to overtake him for first place.
Richarlison got a goal of his own in the 29th minute. The Tottenham Hotspur striker finished off a lovely move in the attacking third, which he started by juggling the ball with his head multiple times.
Lucas Paqueta finished off the first-half scoring with a nice finish off a Vinicius assist from the left wing.
Brazil slowed down the pace of the contest in the second half, but it didn’t appear to be in any danger, despite Alisson making five saves.
South Korea got on the board in the second half courtesy of a wonderful strike from distance off the boot of Seung-ho Paik.
Brazil now has to face a quarterfinal stage that has been cruel to it since it last won the World Cup in 2002. Brazil is 1-3 in the final eight since 2006.
Croatia 1 (3), Japan (1)
Croatia was forced to win from behind for the second time in Qatar.
The 2018 runner-up went down to Japan right before halftime when Daizen Maeda cleaned up a mess in front of the Croatia net.
It took Croatia 10 minutes into the second half to level the contest through Ivan Perišić.
Perišić’s 55th-minute goal made him the fourth player to score in the last three men's World Cups. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xherdan Shaqiri are the others.
Perisic also took the lead for most goals scored at major tournaments for Croatia.
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Neither of the two sides was able to score in the final 35 minutes of the second half or in the 30 minutes of added extra time.
Croatia proved dominant in the penalty shootout, with goalkeeper Dominik Livaković making three saves.
Mario Pasalić confirmed Croatia’s spot in the final eight, as he converted the match-winning penalty in the fourth round.
Croatia will try to make it back to the semifinals of the World Cup for the third time in history with a win over Brazil. The Vatreni made the final in 2018 and finished third in 1998.
Morocco vs. Spain (10 a.m. ET, Fox)
Portugal vs. Switzerland (2 p.m. ET, Fox)