Who Won and Who Lost in The Quarterfinals

Know the Winner and Loser in Quarterfinals

Coming back from a few days of no men’s World Cup to a day where both games went to penalties feels a little like the first day back at work after a vacation or long weekend when you suddenly wonder why you took time off if you’re going to have to deal with all this when you get back. That’s precisely what happened in the first two Quarterfinal games, as Croatia vs. Brazil and Netherlands vs. Argentina needed extra time and penalties to be decided. The games and the sentences were fun and exciting, so it’s hard to find something to complain about.

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We saw Lionel Messi’s magic, a good fight, happy Brazilians after Neymar scored a beautiful goal, and a dynamic equalizer from Croatia. There were penalty kick saves, painful misses, many yellow cards, and one sending-off after the game. But the most important thing was that the World Cup was back after two days.


All the games in the first round of the Quarterfinals were decided by penalties if you’re a fan of those. Many people might think that’s a bad thing. For many soccer and football fans, penalties are stressful; nerve-wracking coin flips that feel like an unfair way to decide the winner of a game. But that’s not fair, and people who like penalties might even find it rude. I’m not sure if those people exist, but I bet they do, and I’ll bet they LOVED these games. There were great saves, good finishes, and a heartbreaking miss. Dominik Livakovi’s first save against Rodrygo was a big part of Croatia’s win over Brazil, and Emi Martnez’s two saves probably won’t cost him another drink or meal outside of the Netherlands for the rest of his life. It was everything you could want from a few gunfights.

For people who like to watch beautiful plays, Argentina’s first goal is amazing from every angle. The play included a pass that only Lionel Messi seems to see, let alone pull off. Messi carried the ball from right to left about 30 yards from the goal without ever looking over his shoulder or to the right side of the field. He beat one defender and took the entire Dutch defense out of the game with a no-look pass that found Nahuel Molina as he entered the box and set up an excellent finish. It was a magical moment that showed Messi can still be at the top of his game as he nears the end of his international career.

Everyone who has underestimated Croatia: Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this, but Croatia has not gotten the credit they deserved going into this tournament or as it has gone on. Heck, they were runners-up at the last World Cup, have players from the top European leagues on their team. Their captain is Luka Modri, one of the best and most underrated players in the world who just won 5 UEFA Champions League trophies with Real Madrid and won almost every individual award in 2018, including the World Cup Golden Ball. Their win over Brazil wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t as surprising as some of us thought it would be, either. Modri belongs in the same conversation as Messi as a player who is remembered as one of the best of all time as he helps his team go further in the tournament.

Stereotypes about South Americans with a fiery temper: If you’ve heard or read a lot about football, you’ve probably heard or read about players from Latin America who are aggressive or “spicy.” Those who believe the stereotype will say that it’s not a criticism or a criticism, it’s just that we played the game with more passion in South and Central America. CONMEBOL is a group of countries with a lot of skill and grit. They are very competitive, and sometimes that competition boils over. In the game between Argentina and the Netherlands, this was not true, or at least, Argentina’s players weren’t more aggressive, competitive, or hot-headed than their opponents. Leandro Paredes did something stupid and risky by kicking the ball toward the Dutch bench, which caused a fight. In the end, Argentina kept their cool enough to win on penalties, and Denzel Dumfries was given a red card after the game for getting a second yellow card. I’m not saying that Argentina was the picture of zen or stoicism, and they probably need to clean up their act in terms of discipline, but they weren’t any worse than their European opponents on that front on the day in question.


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