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World Cup Rewind: Brazil breezes past South Korea, Croatia edges Japan on penalties


2022 FIFA World Cup favorites Brazil showed its quality once again on Monday evening with Tite’s men blitzing South Korea early and never letting their foot off the gas.

Brazil scored four goals in the opening 36 minutes of the match in an eventual 4-1 Round of 16 victory over South Korea. Neymar made his return by scoring once and assisting once while Richarlison, Vinicius Junior, and Lucas Paqueta also got on the scoresheet.

It was a flying start for Brazil with Vinicius breaking the deadlock after a Neymar assist. Vinicius steadied himself after receiving the pass before rifling a shot into the roof of the South Korea net.

Neymar doubled Brazil’s lead in the 13th minute after stepping up from the penalty spot and guiding a shot into the bottom-right corner. It was his 76th international goal for his country.

Richarlison started and finished off Brazil’s third goal of the opening half, passing to Marquinhos before moving around the field. Thiago Silva’s eventual through ball pass was hammered home by the in-form Tottenham forward for his third goal of the tournament.

Lucas Paqueta added a fourth for Brazil before halftime after a deadly attack was capped off by the West Ham midfielder. Richarlison, Neymar, and Vinicius all linked up on passes before Paqueta raced into the box to score.

Seung-Ho Paik earned an insurance goal for South Korea in the 76th minute, but ultimately it was Brazil’s night to celebrate as it advanced to the final eight of the competition.

Up next for Brazil is a quarterfinal showdown with Croatia on Friday.

Japan 1, Croatia 1 (Croatia advances 3-1 on penalties)

(Daizen Maeda 43′) – (Ivan Perisic 55′)

Croatia received a first-half punch from Japan in Round of 16 action on Monday but recovered and eventually returned to the quarterfinal round.

Ivan Perisic’s equalizing goal paired with Dominik Livakovic’s three penalty saves helped Zlatko Dalic’s squad eliminate Japan by a 3-1 shootout scoreline.

After both teams grinded it out for 120 minutes, a shootout was needed to find a winner. Takumi Minamino’s poor penalty attempt allowed Livakovic the chance to deny the Monaco midfielder.

Kaoru Mitoma was also rejected by the Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper while Maya Yoshida also walked away in frustration thanks to Livakovic’s third save. Nikola Vlasic, Marcelo Brozovic, and Mario Pasalic all successfully slotted home their attempts as Croatia marched on.

Daizen Maeda had propelled Japan in front after 43 minutes, finishing off Yoshida’s header in the box for a 1-0 lead. However, the lead only lasted 12 minutes as Croatia battled back after halftime.

Dejan Lovren’s cross allowed Ivan Perisic to head home his first goal of the tournament, tying things up at 1-1.

Both Shuichi Gonda and Livakovic impressed as the match went on, making key saves to eventually force extra time. Livakovic was the busier of the two keepers in extra time, denying Mitoma from playing the hero in the 105th minute.

Livakovic finished with six total saves as Croatia will now meet Brazil in the final eight.


  1. I noticed that Croatia has better athletes than Japan does. Japan plays with soccer IQ but when you are tired all that’s left is heart & muscle memory. Brasil is the only country I know of that can have 1 left footed player (Rafinha) in the starting XI and make a quality opponent like Korea look like kids. I also noticed some WC winning countries. Ratio of left foot to right footed players for field players is 3 to 7. LB, LCB, RW history shows.

  2. If your responses were to me IV , I have absolutely no clue as to what your point is and I really don’t understand the reference to a money tree and what that has to do with me. My post wasn’t intended to be antagonistic toward you, but simply a recognition of current and historical facts – not opinion- about who makes it to the quarterfinals.

    I don’t understand your need to attack anyone ad hominem (insecurity – your term not mine) rather simply making a point.

    First, I understand that you hold the opinion that had the squad been rotated, particularly young Reyna, perhaps results would have been different. I think that is a valid point. Now, that horse is dead…. stop beating it – or at least not as hard as you have and there is no need to beat any of us along with your point.

    My point was that the 8 quarter finalists are going to be the traditional powers. A pretty good Japan team at best got to Pks. Japan beat the US pretty handily in a warm up game.

    It’s a tough competition. usually traditional powers with a few “hot” teams thrown in. I would suggest that the 2002 World Cup with the US (who beat Mexico to get there), South Korea and Senegal was an anomaly. Where does a modern World Cup start. 1970 – the first outside europe or SA: 1994- the US hosted; 1998 the first with 32 teams.? You wanna argue history – bring it on.

    Could the US have done better. Maybe. We had to start an unusual centerback pairing due to injuries. Thank goodness we had depth to start the combo(s) we did who were pretty effective. We have no #9, and we haven’t since Jozy twanged his hamstring against Ghana in the first 10 minutes against Ghana in 2014.

    To your points made on other threads., I also don’t understand GGG sub patterns. Why did he refuse to sub while up 1-0 in the first game against Wales until the 70th minute when the pressing caused some tired legs? Don’t know. But that wasn’t the reason Walker decided to clean out Bale and we ended up with a tie.

    We tied England in a pretty good looking match. We had to beat Iran, so that was not a time to rotate. Sargent played a good game against Iran until he stepped on the ball in a weird play because the defender couldn’t trap the ball.

    I can’t put here what should be in an extended debate. My point is, even with a round ball, it can bounce funny and a team like the US needs some real good bounces to win a knockout game.

    • Not that you need mine or anyone’s approval Midwest, I do agree. WC isn’t to be won easily. Countries that have won have taken at least a decade to build a team to compete. Round of 16, then it’s 8, that’s under the top 10 countries in the world. I’m not big on FIFA rankings or the shadowy organization conspiracy talk, but US was ranked somewhere under 16. With the US making it to the knockout stage, that’s 16-9, they’ve (US players) proven on the field/pitch that they are deserving of a top 16 ranking. Whether that’s 16 or 9, I think it depends on how the other countries, who lose play. Anyone not understanding of how difficult that is to achieve is just a complainer.

      • sorry dude perhaps it’s hard for people to get but if your response to missing out in 2018 is to water down expectations for 2022 and beyond, that is the opposite of responding correctly to 2018. most elite level teams do not respond to an elimination by justifying a degree of weakness the next time. to the contrary, they will usually rigorously demand improvement back to their traditional standard. and the sales pitch of GB and Co. was this would elevate beyond the round of 16. i am merely holding them to the “plateau” sales pitch. if we are still “plateau” they sold a bill of goods and i want someone else with actual improvement ideas. i think it’s justifying suckage to backpat the coach for the same level of performance that in 2010 was deemed a plateau failure and prompt for change.

        but then i think some of what has happened is “capture” of the leadership slots by zealots of a type, as opposed to a sincere attempt to improve the team. i remember some of the bradley critics saying they would rather not even make it than play his way. i think our results are besides the point hence the excuses made when are still sitting on the plateau they said they would move us off of.

        i think the new argument is they need more time to bed some more GB ideas in, except most of what i saw that worked was abandonment of his dogma. eg we started the cycle with “passing 6s” a la barca and that got dropped for adams and defensive soundness. we played most of the world cup in a way other than his system, and when we did play it, we looked worse. i don’t see why you need a coach who the more you veer away from his paper concept the better it looks. i am also less willing to make this sort of a-historical excuse when we have history and we look better when we play some other way than the missionary’s sermons.

    • to re-explain my post. to me it feels like excuses. we have an unusually talented team. prior US teams have history of beating many of the elite teams still in the tournament. to me it’s watering down our history and this team’s talent level to be making excuses for tying or losing to good teams. our historical competition level had elevated above being happy to be there c. 1994. we have beaten holland before. we have beaten a list of good teams before. i then am less convinced by your seeming “well, see how good japan is” analysis. i feel like admitting our “betters” are the “good” team is a bridge too far. when i was in select and college it was never “but they were good.” the USA too used to be “good” and not requiring as much of this condescension.

      now we might have been more defensive before, but that’s a tactical choice, and one even the dutch who just beat us are making. enough teams are making that choice now where i feel like the imperative to change things was unnecessary and misguided. we followed a fashion. that fashion now appears to be swinging back to good teams playing hard defense. bluntly at a point here i want to bonk people on the head and say, quit being followers. either set upon a system that makes us better. or at least pick tactics that are responding to where soccer is going and not where it was 5-10 years ago.

      i didn’t mean “insecurity” personally, it’s more of a global critique. i feel like there is a set of fans who since either 2010 — and a sort of trigger response to bradley’s perceived negative style — or at least 2017 — and a sort of mope response to missing out, have (a) sort of reset expectations like this team never did anything before and then (b) justified coaching, tactical, personnel, and other choices like we need to kiss up to europe and play a certain way or we are useless. that to me feels insecure. we can play our own way. we don’t have to make them happy. insecurity 1. we have been successful before up to the quarter level. any new ideas have to beat that level of prior success. insecurity 2. i think we have too much history and a decent level of success to be this insecure about our persona, tactics, and results. i think if you are promoting an idea of how to run this it should have to outpace what prior teams have done. otherwise this is a very talented team and it doesn’t feel true to history to pretend like we have started over and cannot beat anyone any good. but that’s GB’s reality is we literally never upset any good european team. best we ever do is tie. that is unusual in post 1998 USMNT history right up to 2017.

      i just for a team with this much history don’t particularly want to hear arguments that sound like they are out of 1994 or something. 2018 was the one time in like 30 years we hadn’t made it. particularly since 2002 this had taken off. i want our success levels judged against that new century standard, including how often we used to beat name brand teams in friendlies, confed cup, and even some world cups. i don’t want to hear how we just have to accept some level of suckage, particularly to defend a very mediocre coach who got his tookus handed him last weekend. and i know some people want to pretend but for most of the second half that was a two goal margin and it ended that way.

  3. we were 2-0 worse than Japan you forget.

    during the last few cycles before this we beat holland, beat germany, beat italy AT THEIR PLACE, beat future world cup champion spain at their peak, had brazil down 2 goals before blowing it. beat portugal in world cups. we even beat holland. but i guess history rebooted in 2017 and i’m supposed to accept 1990 style status. “we tied someone good.” ok, millenial, read your history books.

    personally i don’t buy it. this is a good team with a bad coach and watered down expectations. if you can’t beat the results of the previous historical US teams you brand as bunker teams or unskilled then maybe you haven’t exactly found the money tree. quit lecturing us, come back when you have the results. i’ll be waiting. waiting. waiting.

  4. they noted during the brazil telecast that none of their team had been played every single game. far as i am concerned the people defending the xeroxed lineups are displaying acute insecurity rather than tracking what elite teams actually do. if our historic teams could rotate stu holden and benny feilhaber in as subs and rotational starters and not soil themselves then we can start dortmund’s reyna or leeds’ aaronson without curling up in a fetal ball. you would think the “you have to rotate” lesson would have been taught adequately enough by couva.

    • actually none of their team has played all the games, and every single roster player has gotten in at least one game.

  5. Morocco is left as the only possible quarterfinalist outside of Europe and S.America.

    Japan and South Korea both lose today. South Korea by a lot and Japan on PK’s.

    Japan and South Korea appear to play a system indoctrinated from their youth set up to their main national teams.

    Does this make us feel any better about the standing of the USMNT, the only CONCACAF team to even make it out of group play?


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