Match events: Croatia won 3-1 over Japan in a penalty shootout

Croatia earned a spot in the 2022 World Cup quarter finals with a penalty shootout win towards Japan

Daizen Maeda’s opener was once cancelled out by way of an Ivan Perisic header, however the two groups eventually could not be separated in a hundred and twenty minutes of football

Dominik Livakovic was once Croatia’s hero, saving three penalties in the shootout as solely Takuma Asano transformed for Japan earlier than Mario Pasalic’s winner

The query was once continually going to be whether or not or no longer an growing older Croatian crew should cope with the electricity of Japan. The early signs and symptoms counseled they- had been going to struggle

In fact, Croatia bought a big let off in simply the 0.33 minute of the game. Shogo Taniguchi discovered himself with a free header simply six yards out, but he was once solely in a position to look- his header wide

Croatia regarded rattled through that scare and Perisic bullied his way previous Takehiro Tomiyasu down the right-hand side. He lacked support, though, and his narrow-angled shot used to be without difficulty blocked by way of Shuichi Gonda

The 1/2 belonged to Japan, though. Maeda simply failed to join with a tantalizing pass from the right, whilst Daichi Kamada in some way gave away a throw in as he failed to end off a fine Japanese move

They eventually obtained the reward their first-half overall performance deserved, though. A brief nook activities ended up shedding to Maeda’s ft six yards out and he gratefully commonplace the gift

Presumably conscious that they had been about to go out with a whimper, Croatia had been a distinct group after the break. The strength was once greater and the wish commenced to healthy that of the Japanese

The started out the half of brightly and acquired their reward when Perisic headed a superb Dejan Lovren move into the backside corner

Japan tried to reply immediately, and Wataru Endo noticed his long-range shot tipped over by means of Livakovic. It used to be now not adequate to stem the Croatian tide, though

They saved coming and Luka Modric noticed an try properly saved by means of Gonda earlier than alternative Ante Budimir headed horribly vast when unmarked and simply six yards out

As the 2nd half of wore on, Japan’s electricity tiers dropped and Croatia’s ride started out to tell. Neither facet ought to locate a winner, though, so it was once off to greater time for the first time at the 2022 World Cup

Both groups struggled to create in greater time as attempting to win shortly got here trying no longer to lose. Kaoru Mitoma appeared a actual chance and pressured some other keep from Livakovic. Slowly, though, the sport fizzled out closer to a penalty shootout

If all and sundry used to be waiting for any penalty shootout drama, Japan had different ideas. They ignored their first two with Takumi Minamino and Mitoma producing tame efforts that had been effortlessly saved Livakovic

They have been hoping for some Croatian generosity, however it by no means got here and Pasalic stroked domestic the decisive kick to win the shootout 3-1. Croatia will face the winners of the tie between Brazil and South Korea in the quarter finals

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