Croatia defeated Japan on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup

Croatia goalkeeper Dominic Kivakovic saved penalties from Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitoma and Maya Yoshida before Mario Pasalic scored the winning penalty in their 3-1 victory over Japan on Monday to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

With the score tied at 1-1 after a thrilling 90 minutes, Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma came closest in the sloppy half-hour of extra time, forcing Kivakovic to parry his powerful drive.

Daichi Kamada had fired from goal after a fluid Japanese counter-attack minutes before Daizen Maeda duly put them ahead in the 43rd minute by firing on target from close range after Ritsu Doan delivered a sweeping cross into the penalty area.

Croatian striker Ivan Perisic, denied by Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda in the opening minutes, leveled them 10 minutes into the second half after a cross from Dejan Lovren with a powerful header.

In the quarter-finals, Croatia will meet either Brazil or South Korea.

Leave a Comment