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Croatia Beats Japan In Penalty Shootout, Moves To Quarterfin

Croatia beats Japan in penalty shootout, moves to quarterfinals

Croatia beats Japan in penalty shootout, moves to quarterfinals

Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic put on a dominant performance in the penalty kick shootout, stopping three of the four shots he faced, as Croatia moved on to the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar and Japan was left with round-of-16 heartbreak again.

The two sides headed to penalty kicks after they remained knotted, 1-1, after 120 minutes in Wakrah, Qatar. Japan, which was attempting to become the first Asian team in the quarterfinals in 20 years, had a 1-0 lead at halftime before Croatia equalized early in the second half. There was no scoring in extra time. Croatia made three of its four penalty kicks, while Japan made just one of four.

Goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic made three saves in the penalty-kick shootout to help Croatia advance to the quarterfinals and eliminate Japan after the two sides played to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes.

Nikola Vlasic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mario Pasalic converted penalties against Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda, as Croatia prevailed, 3-1. Croatia won two matches via penalty kicks en route to its runner-up finish in the 2018 World Cup.

Japan, which came from behind to defeat Germany and Spain during the group stage, took a lead into halftime for the first time at this year’s tournament. The Samurai Blue scored off a corner kick in the 43rd minute, when Maya Yoshida’s soft touch in the box landed at the feet of Daizen Maeda, who buried a shot into the back of the net.

Maya Yoshida is stopped, and Mario Pasalic wins it for Croatia. The 2018 finalists, who trailed in all four of their knockout round matches four years ago, have done it again, rallying from down a goal to beat Japan and head to the quarterfinals.

GOAL: Japan’s Takuma Asano buries a right-footed shot past Dominik Livakovic, who guessed wrong.

SAVE: Croatia’s Marko Livaja puts a shot off the left post. It deflects wide. Japan is still alive.

Through three rounds of penalties, Croatia leads, 2-1.

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