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Klinsmann opines on World Cup exits of Brazil and England

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Missed penalty kicks cost both Brazil and England in their World Cup quarterfinal losses, and FIFA analyst Jurgen Klinsmann shared his theories on both matches on Monday.

Brazil had too little time to adjust mentally after a 117th-minute equalizing goal by Croatia and then left it too late to use Neymar in the shootout, Klinsmann said.

Harry Kane, however, had too much time, the 1990 World Cup winner with West Germany said. The England forward had to wait more than two minutes for a video review before sending his attempt high over the France goal late in the game in the 2-1 loss.

“There is far too much time passing with VAR checks,” Klinsmann said, suggesting the England captain was “overthinking” when he finally stepped up to take the penalty. “If Harry had the chance maybe just to put the ball down and shoot it, no big deal.

“You get to the point you don’t execute the penalty any more the way you would have done it maybe right after the whistle,” the German great said at a FIFA briefing to analyze the World Cup so far.

Brazil was eliminated from the World Cup in a penalty shootout that started within minutes of the team’s lead being wiped out in a 1-1 draw with Croatia.

“There was no time any more to settle and get balanced again,” Klinsmann said, adding Brazil could not “approach the penalty shootout with positivity in your mind.”

The penalties started with Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saving an attempt from Brazil forward Rodrygo. Neymar was apparently slated to take Brazil’s fifth kick but he never got the chance because Croatia won the shootout 4-2.

“Set the tone with the best penalty taker you have and then go down the rankings,” Klinsmann said. “Maybe that was another reason why (Brazil lost).”

The overall save rate for goalkeepers facing penalties in Qatar was up to 34% compared to 25% four years ago in Russia, FIFA goalkeeping analyst Pascal Zuberbühler noted.

The former Switzerland international said goalkeepers had adapted well to a recent rule change requiring them to keep part of one foot touching the goal line before a penalty is taken.

“It is all about the timing and the first good step,” Zuberbühler said, with goalkeepers able to advance 1.5 meters (yards) toward the ball when a penalty is taken.


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