Livakovic Heroics Saves Croatia – Heartbreak For Japan
Japan vs Croatia is the first 2022 World Cup match that is decided on penalties. The full-time score was 1-1 and the game was not even settled after extra time. Croatians were keeping possession and the Japanese were lethal with their counterattacks. There was nothing to split these two sides. At the end of extra time, it went to penalties. Japanese three penalty-takers missed their penalties and Croatia won the game as they were good at taking theirs.
Heartbreak for Japan
Japanese knew they had to wait for their chances for counterattacking. Japan let Croatia have all the possession but whenever they got the ball they tried to score. In the 43rd minute, Japan’s Maeda broke the deadlock. He scored and give Japan the lead. In the 2nd half, Japan was looking to get another goal as they wanted to seal the deal so they pressed higher. This is why they conceded the goal. In the shootout, Young talented stars Mitoma and Minamino missed their penalties. Asano scored the third one but the Japanese captain Yoshida missed the 4th one. So they scored only 1 out of their 4 penalties.
Their world cup journey ends tonight but what a journey it was from topping the group, defeating big fishes like Spain and Germany, and fighting till the last moment in the round of 16. Japan takes a bow, we hope you will come back stronger.
Calm and cool Croatia
Croatians pressed from the first to the final whistle. They conceded a goal in the first half as the Japanese were too good with their counterattacks. In the 2nd half Croatians found more space as the Japanese started to press. In the 55th minute, Perisic and Lovern combined to score the equalizer. Lovern fed a good cross to Perisic who fires the header into the net. After the equalizer, the game went on and on. Croatians were better in the penalty shootout as they scored 3 out of 4 penalties. And with Japan missing 3 penalties out of 4 there was no need for the 5th.
Man of the match
Dominik Livaković won the man of the match award. Livakovic was a rock when Croatia needed him most. He became a hero today after saving 3 penalties. What a performance!
Croatians have booked their place in the quarterfinals. They will wait for the next match to see who will they play in the quarter-finals. Whether they will play against South Korea or Brazil.