Japan vs Croatia : Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved three penalties in the shootout on Monday to help Croatia reach the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 2018 runners-up Croatia beat Japan 3–1 on penalties in their round of 16 encounter at Sanob Stadium. After a 1-1 draw, the match went to penalties.
FIFA World cup 2022 : Japan vs Croatia Match Highlights – Croatia beat Japan by 3-1 in Penalties
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Livakovic saved penalties from Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitoma and Maya Yoshida before Mario Pasalic, who came on as Croatia’s fourth penalty taker, scored the winning spot-kick. In the shootout, only Takuma Asano scored for Japan, while Marko Livaja Missed to scored for the winner. Nikola Vlasic and Marcelo Brozovicw ere the other penalty scorers for Croatia.
At the half-time break, Japan took a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute through Daizen Maeda. 10 minutes into the second half, Croatia leveled the scoreline when Ivan Perisic leveled the match with a superb header. Thereafter both the teams failed to break the deadlock even after using 30 minutes of extra time.
Croatia will now face either Brazil or South Korea in the last eight as midfield icon Luka Modric’s fourth and potentially final World Cup stay continues.
Japan vs Croatia Match Highlights
Japan’s bid to reach the last eight for the first time in their history failed after another such performance which saw Spain and Germany on their way to top Group E.
However they could not claim another major European scalp as the 2018 finalists and went home in the second round, as they had done four years earlier, after saving three of their penalties.
Japan could easily have been ahead inside three minutes when Shogo Taniguchi saw a header wide from point-blank range, and 10 minutes later Daizen Maeda came close to turn Junya Ito’s brilliantly fired low ball from the right flank.
Meanwhile, Perisic missed a shot from a tight angle that led to a goalbound scramble, but if Croatia had scored, they risked disallowing a goal with an apparent push on Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Bruno Petkovic missed an excellent chance in the 25th minute, only for Doodle to almost dribble onto a long throw and fail to find the pass to Andrej Kramarek, who was charging into the box.
Kramark was too slow to catch Perisic’s dangerous flick-on, and from there Japan took control, taking the lead.
Daichi Kamada had already exploded following a brilliant passing move, when Maeda fired in the opener in the 43rd minute after Maya Yoshida tipped over Retsu Doan’s cross.
Japan looked the better team and looked set to do more damage, but Croatia’s most dangerous man Perisic equalized with a header from Dejan Lovren’s deep cross.
Wataru Endo replied almost immediately after Dominik Levkovic’s superb strike hit the bar, before Shoichi Gonda saved the match to keep out Modric’s beautifully hit, dribbled shot.
Modric was substituted nine minutes into the first half of extra time in which Japan had the best chance, Kaoru Mitoma’s effort was well saved by Livakovic.
With the penalty coming, one last chance went to Modric’s substitute Loro Major, who fired wide, but his team won the shootout to end Blue Samurai’s entertaining adventure.