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Croatia have reached the World Cup quarter-finals after beating Japan 3-1 on penalties – together with three saves from Dominik Livakovic in the course of the shootout – following a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.

It was the primary knockout recreation to play an extra half an hour in Qatar after a largely even 90 minutes as Japan seemed to beat their third successive European opponent following shock wins towards Germany and Spain within the group levels.

Each targets got here both facet of the break. Daizen Maeda (43) gave Japan the lead within the first half after some scrappy Croatian defending, earlier than Ivan Perisic’s (55) highly effective header levelled shortly after the restart.

It was maybe not an awesome shock that the sport went to additional time – seven of of Croatia’s final eight knockout video games at main tournaments have wanted the added interval, final dropping to Spain within the round-of-16 of Euro 2020 final summer time.

Once more, there was little to decide on between the 2 sides throughout extra-time – Kaoru Mitoma and Lovro Majer going closest for his or her respective international locations – and it deserved to be the lottery of penalties to separate the groups.

Nonetheless, for all of their excellent play all through the match, three of Japan’s penalties had been poorly taken and simply saved by goalkeeper Livakovic. Croatia missed simply considered one of their spot-kicks, scoring the opposite three to succeed in their third successive quarter-final stage.

Extra to observe…

What does the end result imply?

Croatia’s win now units up a quarter-final assembly with Brazil or South Korea on Friday; kick-off 3pm. The winner of that fixture will face both the Netherlands or Argentina within the semi-finals on Tuesday December 13; kick-off 7pm.


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