Brazil’s World Cup Hopes Fell Apart in 15 Minutes

“When we scored the goal for 1-1,” Croatia defender Josip Juranovic said, “I was thinking, ‘We have this.’”

In the shootout, four Croatians converted their penalties, while Brazilian forward Rodrygo had his saved by Livakovic and Marquinhos, who went last, hit the left post.

“It’s really emotional,” Alisson said. “The frustration is huge.”

He added later, “We are proud of the dedication of each player and what we did on the pitch. The performances were really good. In my opinion, we didn’t deserve to lose this game. It’s football, and at the World Cup, you have to deal with penalties as well, and unfortunately we were defeated.”

After the game, Brazilian players and Tite were left to deal with the aftermath of their early exit. Tite, 61, the team’s coach since 2016, said that his time in the position was over.

“It’s a painful defeat, but I’m at peace with myself,” he said. “It’s the end of the cycle.”

To win, Croatia defender Borna Sosa said he and his teammates focused on the finer details of their game and their preparation because they didn’t have a team full of players at the elite clubs in the world like Brazil. Croatia, too, he said, was a country of only four million people compared to Brazil’s 214 million.

“We’ve shown many, many times that we’re capable to win the game when we’re the underdogs,” he said. “We will always be to these big countries like France or England or Argentina or Brazil. They have much more players because they have many more people in the country. But we don’t have problems with this. The bigger pressure is on those teams.”

Even though Brazil was a favorite because of its talent and performances, Alisson said, “We don’t have anything to regret.”