Richarlison celebrates his goal with Marquinhos

Brazil strike in fashion in opposition to South Korea to underline favorites standing – WC 2022 hit or miss

Good Brazil activate the fashion

Richarlison celebrates his purpose with Marquinhos

It says quite a bit in regards to the bewildering stage of technical skill in Brazil 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 shelling out brutal penalties, their dazzling first-half show – albeit in opposition to poor opposition – a reminder of why Brazil, regardless of a sluggish begin to this match, are favorites to win the. .

Richarlison’s strike, which concerned juggling the ball on his head within the build-up, was the choose of the 4. The Tottenham ahead, scorer of a sensational overhead kick in opposition to Serbia, seems to be working his personal private purpose within the match competitors.

However there was a lot to take pleasure in with the others too.

For the opener, it was Raphinha who flayed his man to create the prospect, then Vinicius Jr took the ball below his spell and bent it round 4 South Korean gamers on the purpose line.

For the fourth, it was the Actual Madrid man who turned provider, his delicate, excessive cross discovering the onrushing Lucas Paqueta with out him having to interrupt his stride.

There have been many extra moments to take pleasure in in between, from the dance celebrations, one in every of which concerned their supervisor within the dugout, to the showboating brilliance that drew gasps from the gang.

This was Brazil as we all know them.

South Korea had been accommodating opponents, however the pace, precision and sheer enjoyment of Brazil’s show introduced again recollections of their greatest sides. On the finish, the gamers held up a banner in help of Pele as he watched from his hospital mattress in Sao Paulo. The good man undoubtedly accepted of what he noticed. Brazil has arrived.
Nick Wright

Alisson prepared for more durable assessments forward

Alisson produced a number of quality saves to deny South Korea more goals in their Round of 16 tie
Alisson produced quite a lot of high quality saves to disclaim South Korea extra objectives of their Spherical of 16 tie

Alisson wouldn’t have been anticipated to have been within the participant of the match when Brazil took on South Korea. Much less calm after the 4-1 drubbing they unleashed.

However the Liverpool goalkeeper, overwhelmed for the primary time within the match by a second-half Seung-Ho Paik stunner, had his work minimize out on the Stadium 974 with quite a lot of wonderful saves to maintain Brazil’s progress extra routine than it may need been.

He was on high to get his fingertips to a Hee-Chan Hwang roller that may have overwhelmed a lot of his World Cup colleagues earlier than the half-time break.

He denied the identical participant with a sprawling cease after the break, and went on to provide one other very good save to maintain out an offside effort from Heung-Min Son – not that he knew it on the time.

Coupled together with his all the time wonderful distribution and high quality of the ball, it was a reassuring show for Brazil’s backline, which didn’t all the time attain the heights of its goalkeeper’s defensive efficiency.

There may be little doubt in regards to the high quality of the South American’s assault. With Alisson between the sticks, even their backline seems to be extra like that of a world champion.

Roy Keane’s judgment was unequivocal.

“Alisson will probably be disenchanted to concede a purpose. There’s not a lot he can do about it, there’s a few deflections on the way in which.

“We have stated it earlier than – an impressive goalkeeper.”
Ron Walker

Brazil should be prepared for a Croatia marathon

Mario Pasalic celebrates with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic
Mario Pasalic celebrates with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic

Others are the brand new primary in relation to shootouts – and Croatia do not thoughts defying the chances both.

The victory over Japan was the seventh consecutive penalty shootout received by the second-placed winger, with Croatia content material to go the gap once more within the knockout levels. They’ve develop into one of many hardest sides to beat in latest tournaments.

On the final World Cup, they edged previous each Denmark and Russia on penalties earlier than seeing off England after further time to achieve the ultimate. At Euro 2020, they had been undone in further time by Spain having suffered the identical destiny in opposition to Portugal in 2016. Croatia don’t exit simply.

Croatia could also be an growing older facet however there are nonetheless some marathons left in them but. In opposition to a Japanese group stuffed with vitality and working, the Croatians slowly however certainly floor them down, suffocating their assaults and breaking their will. Then their expertise got here to the fore within the taking pictures.

Croatia will current a totally completely different problem to Brazil than South Korea. Neymar and co should be prepared for a combat till the final second.
David Richardson

Livakovic makes the distinction for Croatia

s goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic makes a save during the penalty shootout against Japan
Croatia goalkeeper Livakovic saved three Japanese penalties within the shootout

Japan’s penalties had been nervy. Preliminary. However two of these stopped by Dominik Livakovic had been heading for corners. The entire anticipated purpose worth after the shot for these 4 penalties was over three. Just one hit him. It was a great cease by Croatia’s goalkeeper.

For all of the speak of Croatian expertise, the most important names – Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic – had already been changed. It fell to their 27-year-old goalkeeper, enjoying in his first World Cup knockout match, to make the distinction.

Livakovic had confronted 54 profession penalties earlier than this recreation, with a 74 p.c conversion fee in opposition to him. The common conversion fee is round 78 p.c, just like that of Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. The statistics had been on his facet. Livakovic backed it up.
Adam Bate

Hope for Japan regardless of extra Spherical of 16 heartbreak

Japanese players are elated after Croatia's victory in the World Cup Round of 16 match between Japan and Croatia at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese gamers are dejected after struggling defeat in opposition to Croatia

If Japan’s performances in earlier World Cups instructed us something, it was that they’d fail to get out of a gaggle with earlier winners Germany and Spain plus Costa Rica.

Relationship again to 1998, the Asian facet had alternated between exiting the group stage and the final 16 each 4 years. On condition that they made it to the primary knockout stage in 2018, it appeared inevitable to fall on the preliminary hurdle this time round – particularly after they had been drawn in such a difficult group.

However Hajime Moriyasu’s facet tore up the script in Qatar. Not solely did they get out of their group however they did so after ending high because of wins over Germany and Spain.

With the group stage/last-16 exit sample ending, Japan’s subsequent problem was to lastly attain their first World Cup quarter-final.

Japan had appeared in three earlier final 16 encounters and suffered heartbreaking defeats on every event. A 1-0 loss to Turkey knocked them out of their dwelling match in 2002, Paraguay beat them on penalties in 2010 they usually threw away a 2-0 result in lose 3-2 to Belgium in 2018.

Japan can add 2022 to that checklist of emotional defeats. After going toe-to-toe with 2018 runners-up Croatia for 120 minutes, a horrific set of penalties ended their World Cup marketing campaign and introduced tears to the squad.

However Japan can take coronary heart from their efficiency in Qatar. Their wins over Germany and Spain will probably be two of the most important shocks of the match, whereas they had been one in every of solely 9 groups to achieve the 2018 knockout levels solely to take action once more 4 years later.

“Japan is reaching a stage the place we are able to play on the world stage,” Moriyasu stated after full-time. Whereas Croatia’s knockout-stage prowess in the end proved insurmountable, Japan can safely declare to have established themselves as a group to be revered – maybe even feared – internationally.
Joe Shread

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