Croatia have progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals underway in Qatar after beating Japan 3 – 1 on penalties this Monday.
The match had ended 1 – 1 on regular time.
Both teams started the game with a lot of energy but as the minutes ticked by, Croatia began to control the game and dictate the pace, which was very slow.
Perisic had Croatia’s best chance of the half but could not beat Gonda from close range following a mistake from Tomiyasu.
Japan found some momentum at the end of the half and made it count after Maeda scored his first goal of the tournament. He reacted quickest to Yoshida’s knockdown to give Japan the lead in the 43rd minute.
The only highlight in the second half was Perisic’s equaliser.
Extra time was quiet and saw a lack of chances other than a deflected effort from Mitoma.
Livakovic became the hero in the penalty shootout as he saved three of the four Japan penalties, with only Asano scoring. Pasalic scored the winning penalty with Croatia winning the shootout 3-1.
Croatia have progressed from all three of their appearances in the round of 16 at the World Cup, winning on penalties in each of the last two (also Denmark in 2018). Croatia have won all three of their World Cup penalty shootouts (also vs Denmark and Russia in 2018), while the team going second has won the last seven penalty shootouts at the World Cup. Japan have been eliminated from all four of their round of 16 appearances at the World Cup (D2 L2), while they’ve lost both of their penalty shootouts in the competition (also vs Paraguay in 2010).
Meanhile, Brazil play South Korea tonight in another Round of 16 match.