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Sport

Croatia in the quarter-finals from penalties, Japan closing the Qatar World Cup with dignity

Croatia in the quarter-finals from penalties, Japan closing the Qatar World Cup

Croatia is the next quarter-finalist of the "Qatar-2022" World Cup, after defeating Japan after 120 minutes of play and penalties. In fact, it was the first match of this World Cup to go to extra time, as the regular match ended in a 1-1 draw. It was a delicate but also difficult match for both teams, as Croatia's lack of strength to settle the match from the 90-minute mark stood out. Indeed, the Japanese were the surprise of yesterday, as they were very close to a historic qualification. As for the match played, i.e. regular time, Japan was more demanding, especially at the beginning of the game, although their persistence was rewarded only in the 43rd minute when Maeda scored after finding space in the center of the Croatian area. A distraction by the Croatians after a corner kick was used to the maximum by the Japanese who did not forgive and thus ended the first half with the advantage. In the second, the Croatians searched for the equalizing goal at all costs and found the way to the net in the 55th minute. Lovren crosses into the area and Ivan Perisic finds the right time for the ball and with his head he leaves no chance to the opposing goalkeeper. In the continuation of the match, both teams were careful not to lose the challenge and in this form, the challenge was directed to extra time. Even the extra 30 minutes didn't change the result of the match, as there was a lack of cohesion in the continuity of the attacking actions. the lack of a key pass brought a lack of dangerousness in front of the goal and as a result the result did not change. In this way, the teams had to decide the winner from the penalty spot where the Croatians were more accurate and went 3-1 as goalkeeper Livakovic saved three penalties in total. Specifically, from the Japanese penalty spot, only Asani scored (in the third penalty), while Minamino, Mitoma and Jashido missed. Of the Croatians, only Livaja made a mistake in the third penalty. The others scored, namely Vlasic, Brozovic and Pasalik. The fifth penalties in a row were not fired as they did not change the result, so Croatia secured qualification from the penalty spot. In the quarterfinals, the Croatians will play the winner of the Brazil-South Korea match. From yesterday's match, the Croatians will surely have learned the right lessons, as it is a repeated match where they do not show the right strength.