Credit…Gabriel Bouys/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Croatia vs. Brazil

How to watch: 10 a.m. Eastern. Fox, Telemundo.

As preamble, the group stage was used BrazilThree matches to acclimate and adapt and Before you get to the real World Cup began, with a 4-1 drubbing of South Korea that showcased the Seleção at their mightiest, and Most enjoyable. Richarlison and Raphinha feinting, Neymar and Vinicius Jr. flicking — it is soccer set to samba music.

But Brazil’s quarterfinal opponent relishes quashing that joy, until all that is left is pain. Croatia It outlasts its opponents. It doesn’t break them, it just persists and Then it wins. Although luck can intervene from time to time in this sport, Croatia’s last four victories in the elimination round — dating to 2018 — have followed a distinct pattern, coming in extra time after it trailed. Three of the four came in penalty shootouts. It is not luck.

The coach, Zlatko Dalic, said his team reflects the spirit of the Croatian people, whose nationalistic pride was forged from the Balkan nation’s war of independence from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. They are at least able to maintain a sense of calm. and They have confidence and a sense of resilience. But they will need goals, too, though — multiple, probably — to oust Brazil.