By Denise Irene Nalunkuma

It was a thrilling night for football fans across the globe watching the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup. As Croatia versus Brazil and Netherlands versus Argentina were decided by spot kicks.

Argentina took on the Netherlands for their match at the Lusail Stadium, and Brazil went up against Croatia in the Education City Stadium.

After both matches ended in a draw, it went to penalties, and this is where things got tense. Argentina just pipped the Netherlands to win 4-3, and Croatia beat Brazil 4-2 in a nail-biter of a shoot-out.

The argentines cruised into a two-nil lead before the Dutch side came back with two goals in the final 10 minutes to make it a tie. However Argentina held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out, with star player Messi scoring one of the penalties.

Keeper Emi Martinez was Argentina’s hero in the penalties, saving the first two Netherlands spot-kicks from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis. They now only have one match between them and the final.

For Brazil however, their dreams of reaching the final came crashing down. They started strong when Neymar scored a goal in the 106th minute which helped him to equal Pele’s official record for the men’s national team.

However Croatia came back with a late goal from Bruno Petkovic to equalise. Croatia clutched a win netting four goals to Brazil’s two, sending them through to the semi-finals, where they will play against Argentina.

After the game, it was confirmed that boss Tite would be leaving his job, with Neymar hinting he may retire.

“It is indeed very difficult,” Tite said. “But it is the end of my cycle with the Brazil squad. I said that one and half years ago.”

“It is difficult to find the words to describe this moment. We fought and I am proud of my team-mates, proud of the character they showed to step up and take penalties.” said Neymar.



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