Brazil fails again in quest to end World Cup drought


DOHA, Qatar (AP) December,10 Brazil’s hopes of ending a 20-year wait for a World Cup title vanished in a 4-2 loss to Croatia in a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals.

Neymar scored in extra time to tie Pelé’s scoring record with 77 goals and give Brazil the lead, but Croatia equalized with Bruno Petkovic in the 117th minute and won the shootout after Rodrygo and Marquinhos missed their penalties for Brazil.

Neymar didn’t get to take his penalty after a controversial decision by Brazil coach Tite to leave him for last.

Brazil arrived as one of the favourites for the title, but there was concern about what it could do after Neymar got injured in the first game and his participation in the tournament was put into doubt.

Brazil was still able to comfortably advance past the group stage despite a 1-0 loss to Cameroon with its reserve squad, a result that ended the Selecao’s 17-game unbeaten streak in group games and cast doubt about the overall quality of the team. It was also the first time Brazil had lost to an African country in the World Cup.

It didn’t help that Brazil was plagued with injuries. Besides Neymar, Tite lost Danilo after the first match and Alex Sandro after the second match against Switzerland. Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus were injured in the match against Cameroon and have been sidelined.

Tait was criticized for picking Neymar for the fifth penalty, which ultimately did not materialize. He was also questioned about his failure to form the team defensively after taking the lead before conceding a late breakaway goal that gave Croatia the equalizer. Many liked his decision to go to the dressing room instead of staying with the players in the immediate aftermath of his loss in battle.

Tite left the national team as planned and said his time in Brazil was over, so he doesn’t have to answer anything. He had already announced his decision before the World Cup and hadn’t changed his mind.

“It’s the end of the cycle,” Tait said. “The loss hurts, but I feel at peace with myself now.

It’s unclear if the 30-year-old Neymar will return to Brazil and it’s not the time for him to talk about his immediate future after Croatia’s defeat.


It was safer for veterans Thiago Silva and Dani Alves to say goodbye to Seleção. Alves, 39, overtook Silva, 38, to become the oldest Brazilian player at the World Cup.

Brazil has not yet announced a replacement for Tite, and the Brazilian Football Federation said it would not start negotiations on a new manager until January.Rumors suggest that Brazil will hire a foreign coach to lead the team. This may be considering, with Portuguese Jorge Jesús being one of the front-runners. Young talent will be available under the new director, including Vinicius Junior, Rodrigo, Gabriel Martinelli and Anthony.

“You have to keep your head up and keep moving forward,” said the 30-year-old Casemiro.

Brazil has no games scheduled so far, but their focus will soon shift to the 2026 World Cup for him, as South American qualifying is set to begin for him in March 2023.

Brazil has qualified for every World Cup and qualifying for 2026 should not be a problem. Especially since the region has clinched its sixth consecutive playoff appearance.