Croatian Dominik Levakovic achieved an unprecedented achievement in the World Cup finals, after he became the first goalkeeper to save 4 penalty kicks in the history of the tournament since its inception in 1930, according to the “Opta” network specialized in sports statistics.
Levakovic managed to save 3 penalty kicks against Japan in the round of 16, before contributing to his country’s qualification to the semi-finals by saving the opening kick of Brazil’s national team, on Friday, after the two sides tied with a goal for the same in the quarter-final match.
Brazil advanced first through Neymar da Silva, who scored his 77th goal in the “Seleção” jersey, to equal the number of legend Pele as the best scorer in the history of his country, then Croatia equalized with Bruno Petkovic’s feet in the extra innings.
The elimination against Croatia is Brazil’s fifth successive World Cup against a European team since its victory over Germany in 2002, and the World Cup title in South Korea and Japan.
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And France had deprived Brazil of preserving its title in the 2006 World Cup when it knocked it out of the quarter-finals with the goal of Thierry Henry, then the Netherlands defeated it in 2010 in the same round with two goals to one, and Germany in 2014 with a historic seven in the semi-finals, and finally Belgium in the quarter-finals of the World Cup Russia 2018.
On the other hand, Croatia confirmed its distinction in the knockout stages and managed to reach the semi-finals in all its participations during which it skipped the group stage (1998, 2018, 2022).
Croatia will meet in the next round, next Tuesday, December 13, with the qualifier from Argentina and the Netherlands.