Croatia prevailed 4-2 on penalties over Brazil after a goalless draw during a regular time that finished 1-1 after the extra time to reach the semifinals of the Qatar 2002 football World Cup.
In what could be construed as a logical turn of events, the squad that finished second best in the world in the previous competition proved slightly stronger than those who achieved the same at just a South American level.
For a moment it seemed that Brazil's history of 5 World Cup titles would be too much of a hurdle for a relatively humbler formation that plays under the Croatia name since 1998. Neymar put the South Americans 1-0 ahead after a double one-two combination with Rodrygo and Paqueta just a minute before the halftime interval.
The 30-year-old striker thus equaled Edson Arantes do Nascimento's (Pele) status as the all-time highest scorer for the Canarinha with 77 goals.
But Croatian coach Zlatko Dali's strategic substitutions gave the Europeans the strength to fight back and eventually equalize through Bruno Petkovic in the 117th minute to reach the shootout.
Keeper Dominik Livakovic saved Rodrygo’s first penalty and Marquinhos hit the post to give Croatia an unsurmountable 4-2 advantage, much to Neymar's disbelief. Scoring for Croatia with 100% effectiveness were Nikola Vlasic, Lovro Majer, Luka Modric, and Mislav Orsic scored for Croatia, while Casemiro and Pedro netted their kicks for Brazil.
Croatia, who had already gotten past Japan's revelation Samurai Blue team also on penalties, will now face the winner of the clash between Argentina and The Netherlands to take place later Friday.