Croatia defeat Japan on Penalties to reach Quarter finals

Croatia defeated Japan 3-1 via a penalty shootout to book a place in the quarter-finals.

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 as if bullet header could not be stopped this time by Gonda. 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 dispatched the winning penalty with Croatia winning the shootout 3-1.

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