Croatia edges Japan on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

Croatia edges Japan on penalties to reach World Cup quarters

It was a familiar tale for Japan as it exited at the Round of 16 stage of the FIFA World Cup once again. This time in Qatar, Croatia edged the Blue Samurais via penalties on Monday night (December 5).

Also read: Full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2022

After the match was tied at 1-1 in the stipulated 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, the contest was decided via the penalty shootout.

Also read: FIFA World Cup quarter-finals teams and schedule

In the shootout, Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic was the hero saving three penalty kicks. Croatia won 3-1 in the shootout.

Livakovic blocked penalties from Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitomo and Maya Yoshida.

Mario Pasalic converted the clinching penalty for Croatia.

Also read: Round of 16 teams and schedule, match times in IST

Earlier, Daizen Maeda had put Japan ahead in the 43rd minute but Croatia drew parity with Ivan Perisic’s goal in the 55th minute.

Croatia, the 2018 edition runner-up, will now face Brazil or South Korea in the quarter-finals.

Japan was aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time but fell short again, just like in 2002, 2010 and 2018. The Asian team lost to Paraguay in a penalty shootout in the round of 16 in 2010.

(With agency inputs)

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