Al Rayyan [Qatar], December 9 (ANI): Brazil played out a goalless first half against 2018 runners-up Croatia in the first quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup at the Education City stadium on Friday.
Throughout the entire game, neither team was able to create several chances due to Croatia's strong defence. The five-time champions will try to start the second half with even more assertiveness and intensity after failing to create much space in the midfield. Croatia will undoubtedly enter the locker room in a better mood, having defended superbly.
Brazil showed a glimpse of their speed and creativity with forwards Vinicius and Neymar having made some quick runs into the Croatian box in the initial minutes of the half. Vinicius even got close to the Croatian goalpost in the 4th minute as he took a long-range kick to produce the first save of the game.
There were some nerves in both camps with players making some mistakes. Luka Modric and Casemiro both were found guilty of making weak passes as they lost possession.
Croatia won the first corner of the match in the 14th minute but the European side was not able to make much out of it. They took a shot at the Brazil goal through Kramaric in the 19th minute but it could not find a way past the Brazillian defence.
Both teams were swapping blows, with Croatia easily absorbing Brazil's offensive pressure and occasionally getting in an attempt at the goal with quick counterattacks.
Vinicius displayed great skill throughout the half as he was able to create chances for his team but a solid Croatian defence stood tall to deny the forward a clear chance.
The half ended with not much to separate between the two teams. While the five-time champions were quick with their attacks, Croatian defenders were brilliant with their defence denying Brazil a lead in the game.
Brazil will hope that Neymar can go past Pele's record of 77 goals in the match to help his team win and book a semi-final berth. (ANI)