AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time.
Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved a penalty attempt by Rodrygo and Marquinhos later hit the post.
The match had finished 1-1 after extra time, with both goals coming in the additional 30 minutes. Neymar scored late in the first half of extra time to give Brazil the lead, but Croatia equalized when Bruno Petkovic scored in the 117th.
Neymar’s goal moved him into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals.
Croatia will next face Argentina to try to return to the World Cup final four years after losing the title to France.
Five of Croatia's last six matches at World Cups have gone to extra time, including in its penalty shootout win over Japan in the round of 16 in Qatar. The team has been successful in eight of its last 10 knockout matches at the tournament.
Brazil was trying to return to the semifinals for the first time since 2014. The team hadn’t made it to the last four since hosting the tournament eight years ago, when the Selecao was embarrassed by Germany 7-1.
Brazil was trying to defeat a European opponent in the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time since the 2002 final against Germany, when the team won for the last time.
Neymar scored with a right-footed shot after getting through the defense and dribbling past the Croatia goalkeeper to match Pelé’s record. He entered the tournament two goals shy of the milestone, and scored his 76th in the round of 16 against South Korea after returning from an ankle injury.
Pelé remained in a hospital in Brazil treating a respiratory infection that was aggravated by COVID-19. The latest medical report said the 82-year-old Pelé, who last year had surgery to remove a colon tumor, was doing OK.
The 30-year-old Neymar scored his 77 goals in 124 matches for Brazil. Pelé’s goals came in 92 appearances with the national team between 1957 and 1971.
Ronaldo, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, is third on the list with 62 goals in 98 matches.
Neymar first played for Brazil as an 18-year-old in 2010. He is trying to win his first major title with the national team. Pelé won three World Cups, including as a 17-year-old in the 1958 tournament. He also helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1962 and 1970.
Neymar is playing in his third World Cup and is the only other Brazil player other than Pelé and Ronaldo to score in three different World Cups. He helped the Seleçao win the 2013 Confederations Cup and its first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Neymar damaged ligaments in his ankle in Brazil’s opening win against Serbia, and his participation in the rest of the tournament was in doubt because of the injury. He made it back to the starting lineup after missing two group games, and played about 80 minutes in Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea on Monday.
He was knocked out of the 2014 World Cup after hurting his back in the quarterfinals against Colombia. Brazil eventually lost to Germany 7-1 in the semifinals.
The right ankle had already caused Neymar problems in the past, being among a series of injuries since the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Another right ankle sprain forced him to miss the 2019 Copa América, which Brazil won.