Japan went into the break with a 1-0 lead in the first half, but Croatia made up for it early in the second half. The result of the game is 1-1.
No more goals after that. The scheduled time has passed. The match went into extra time but nobody found the target there either. After that, last year’s runner-up Croatia advanced to the last eight after winning the tiebreaker.
The Croats won the tiebreaker 3-1 after the last-16 tie ended 1-1 in regulation time at the Al Zanoob Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, after a goalless extra time. The Japanese missed 3 shots in the tiebreaker. And the Croats missed 1, netted 3.
Earlier in the first half Japan had a big chance but in the third minute Shogo Taniguchi’s header narrowly missed the target at the face of the six yard box. Then Croatia got a chance in the ninth minute. However, Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda blocked the shot of Croatian forward Ivan Perisic, who got the ball from the opponent’s mistake and entered the box from an awkward angle. Japan had another chance in the 40th minute but failed to capitalize. Daichi Kamada hit from inside the box. However, after three minutes, Japan got the desired goal. When the Croatian defenders failed to clear the cross, Maeda took a close shot and put the ball into the net.
Croatia did not take long to get back into the match in the second half. They equalized in the 55th minute with Ivan Perisic’s goal. Lovren’s low cross was headed hard by the Croatian striker. The ball hits the net with bullet speed. He became the first Croatian to score in five different major tournaments (Euro and World Cup). He also surpassed Davor Suker for the record of most goals (5) for Croatia in the World Cup. Moreover, Perisic is the only player after Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xherdan Shaqiri to score in the last three World Cups.
Croatia had a chance to go ahead in the 66th minute. But Budimir’s header was not on target despite Kramaric’s excellent cross. Croatia tried to stifle the Japanese footballers by using their physical ability in the last part. But it didn’t work. Instead, the midfield of both teams was somewhat exposed. But none of the teams could mount a sudden attack. Even in the added time of the second half they did not see a goal. As a result, the game went into extra time.
In extra time, neither Japan nor Croatia could attack like that. Instead, the players looked a bit tired. As a result, this part of the game also ended in a draw. After that, Croatian goalkeeper Livakovic blocked 3 of 4 shots taken by the Japanese in the penalty shootout. Asano took the only successful shot for Japan. And Croatia missed one. As a result, the victory was confirmed with one shot in hand.
After defeating Germany and Spain in the group stage, Japan, who became group champions, had the chance to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. But with this, they left the last sixteen for the fourth time. Earlier in the 2016 World Cup, they lost to Paraguay in a penalty shootout.
On the other hand, Croatia crossed the barrier of the last sixteen of the World Cup for the third time. The last two times they won in tiebreakers. Earlier in the 2018 World Cup, they defeated Denmark in a tiebreaker and reached the quarter-finals.
Source: দৈনিক আজাদী by dainikazadi.net.
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