2022 World Cup stats: Messi equals Maradona, Pele, Batistuta; Croatia continue extra-time heroics

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The quarterfinal stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup started on a dramatic note with both matches on Friday heading into extra time and being decided in the penalty shootout. Last time's runners up Croatia knocked out Brazil with another strong shootout showing after they neutralised Neymar's stunning solo goal in extra time. Argentina edged Netherlands after the Dutch fought back from 0-2 down to equalise in the final minute of stoppage time. Croatia and Argentina will now battle for a place in the final.

By The Numbers has the best stats from the four World Cup matches played on Friday:

Croatia 1 - 1 Brazil (Croatia won 4-2 on penalties)


Neymar's extra time strike was his 77th career goal for Brazil. He equalled Pelé's team record for most men's national team goals. He also joined Ronaldo (Nazário) as only Brazilian men to have scored multiple goals at 3 different FIFA World Cups.


Bruno Petkovic's equaliser was the latest goal Croatia have scored in a World Cup match. It was also their first shot on goal.


Dominik Livakovic was the star for Croatia in the goal and with 10 saves. This is the most by a Croatian goalkeeper in a FIFA World Cup match, passing Drazen Ladic (7) vs Netherlands in the 1998 3rd-Place Match. He also tied Wojciech Szczesny for most saves in a single match at the 2022 World Cup.


Luka Modric's goals in penalty shootouts are the most by any player in World Cup history.


This is the fifth straight time that Brazil have been eliminated in a FIFA World Cup Knockout Stage games vs European opponent.


Croatia have advanced to the semifinals in all 3 of its FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals appearances (1998, 2018, 2022) They are the first FIFA World Cup runner-up to reach the semifinals of next tournament since Netherlands in 2014.


Croatia are champions of the long game. This quarterfinal was Croatia's 5th World Cup match to go to Extra Time, second straight in Qatar. They have advanced from their previous 4 matches - 1 win in Extra Time (2018 SF vs England) and 3 coming from penalties (2018 Ro16, 2018 QF, and 2022 Ro16). In fact, 8 of their last 9 major-tournament knockout matches have gone to Extra Time.

Argentina 2 -2 Netherlands (Argentina advance 4-3 on penalties)


Lionel Messi was at the heart of Argentina's quarterfinal with an assist and goal in regulation time. In doing so, he surpasses Diego Maradona for most World Cup goal involvements by an Argentine male since 1966.


Messi recorded his 5th career assist in the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup, passing Pelé for most since 1966 (when our dataset started recording). This was also his 7th career World Cup assist, tying for second-most with Poland's Grzegorz Lato behind Diego Maradona (8) since 1966 (our dataset). 6 With 6 career goal contributions (1G+5A) in the FIFA World Cup knockout stage, he also tied Diego Maradona's 6 for most for Argentina since 1966 (our data set).


Messi also tied Gabriel Batistuta for most World Cup goals by an Argentine male. He will have a chance to break that record in the semifinal.


Messi is also the first Argentine male to have 5 goal involvements at two different World Cups (2014 and 2022) since 1966.


Wout Weghorst's 90+11th minute goal via free kick was the latest goal the Netherlands have scored in a World Cup match. The Dutch have never scored in Extra Time at the World Cup. This was also the latest World Cup equalizer within regulation time.


Weghorst is also third man to score multiple goals as a sub in the knockout stage of a FIFA World Cup. (Roger Milla vs COL in 1990 and André Schürrle vs BRA in 2014.)


The 18 yellow cards handed out in the quarterfinal between Netherlands and Argentina are the most in a FIFA World Cup match ahead of Cameroon-Germany (16, 2002 WC) and Portugal-Netherlands (16, 2002).

(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)