Croatia Beat Japan On penalty Shootout To Advance To World Cup Quarter-Finals

Croatia beat Japan 3 – 1 on penalties. The Japanese squad scored the match’s first goal in the first half and were leading until the 70th minute when Croatia equalised, bringing the count to 1 – 1.

Extra time was fruitless for both sides, forcing a nail-biting penalty shoot-out. Japan crumbled under the pressure, with Croatia storming ahead to put 3 in the net compared to Japan’s 1.

Croatia will head into the quarter-final on Friday, where they will play Brazil who beat South Korea.

The European team, the smallest country in the final 16 with a population of only 4 million, was the runner-up four years ago against France and finished third in 1998.

Japan qualified as group winners after two unexpected victories against former world champions Germany and Spain.

This was their fourth appearance in the knockout stage, still without a victory.

The match was the first time Croatia played an Asian team in a World Cup knockout match after eight previous games against European teams.