Croatia beat Japan on penalties and qualified for the quarterfinals of Qatar 2022

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In a tense game, Croatia hit Japan in the first World Cup penalty shootout, advancing to the quarterfinals with 3-1 in the definitionafter concretizing a 1-1 after the extra time.

Both selected did not risk too much, betting on security so as not to give away advantages. Croatia dominated possession of the ball, while Japan relinquished prominence and sought to do damage with recoveries and quick exits.

The Japanese had good chances with effective pressure and good defense in the first half. The team of the “blue samurai” reached the goal at minute 43with a certain appearance of Maeda Daizen in the area, who defined a few meters from the goal.

In the second half, the “chessmen” entered better, finding spaces with several crosses and a shot from Luka Modric, all controlled by goalkeeper Gonda Shuichi and his defenders. Nevertheless, Ivan Perisic equalized at 55′ with an unassailable blow of the head.

Japan defended, unable to hit a good counterattack, until the end of regular time. In extra time, equality was not broken, resulting in penalty kicks, which had their premiere in the 2022 World Cup.

In the final instance the hero was the Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who saved three of the four Japanese shots, being beaten only on the third serve by Asano Takuma. Marko Livaja gave life to his rival by missing his shot, but Mario Pasalic completed the key service to close the victory of Croatia.

In this way, the Balkans left the round of 16 behind and will face the winner between Brazil and South Korea in the next round, who will meet on the afternoon of this Monday, November 5.