Croatia Beats Japan on Penalties to Reach World Cup Quarterfinals

Croatia goalkeeper Dominic Kivakovic saved penalties from Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitoma and Maya Yoshida before Mario Pasalic netted the winning spot-kick in their 3-1 shootout win over Japan on Monday to reach the World Cup quarterfinals.

With the scores deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma had the best shot at goal in the scrappy half-hour of extra time, but Kivakovic deflected Mitoma’s powerful drive.

Daichi Kamada had a shot off target after a flowing Japan counter-attack minutes before Daizen Maeda put them ahead in the 43rd minute, firing home from close range after Ritsu Doan delivered a cross into the penalty area.

Croatia forward Ivan Perisic, who was denied by Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda in the opening minutes, pulled his team level 10 minutes into the second half after meeting Dejan Lovren’s cross with a powerful header.

Croatia will face Brazil, which beat South Korea 4-1, on Friday.

Source: Voice of America

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