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Croatia made it to the World Cup quarter-finals to set up a potential tie against Brazil after they just about beat Japan with the game having to be decided on penalties.

In the first half Japan were the better side having started on the front foot and they got what they deserved with Celtic's Daizen Maeda showing poacher like instincts nodding the ball home when it got played back across the six-yard box.

It did not take long for Croatia to draw themselves level though after the half-time  break as Ivan Perisic scored a brilliant header after a cross from Dejan Lovren.

Luke Modric came very close to winning it in normal time with a spectacular volleyed effort but Shuichi Gonda made an athletic save to keep it out.

Extra-time produced a couple of half-chances for both sides but it was clear to see that both sets of players were tired and were content on penalties.

Dominik Livakovic
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Takumi Minamino stepped up to take the first penalty and it was clear to see there was a lack of confidence.

He took a very weak penalty and Dominik Livakovic easily saved he then also saved Karou Mitoma's spot-kick which was again another tame effort whilst Croatia converted their first two with ease.

Japan finally got one on the board through Takuma Asano and Marko Livaja hit the post to give the underdogs hope.

However centre-back Maya Yoshida, Japan's captain, took the next one and yet again it was a woeful penalty with Livakovic saving it to become only the third goalkeeper to save three penalties in a World Cup shootout.

Japan done extremely well to get to the knockouts round and they will feel hard done by that they have yet again been sent home in the last 16 whereas Croatia will need to up their game if they stand a chance against Brazil as long as Tite's men beat South Korea.


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