The Blazers of Croatia beat the Sumarai Blues of Japan on Monday evening in Qatar to progress to the quarter final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament.
The Europeans secured their spot in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals after beating Japan 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 Round of 16 draw in Al Wakrah.
The 2018 finalists struggled in the opening stages, as Celtic striker Daizen Maeda deservedly poked Japan in front before the break.
However, Zlatko Dalic’s experienced side rallied after the restart, as Tottenham winger Ivan Perisic arrived inside the six-yard area to head them level.
Nether side could find a second goal in extra time, and Croatia won the battle of nerves in the penalty shootout, as Dominik Livakovic saved three Japan spot-kicks and Mario Pasalic stroked home the decisive penalty.
The 2018 finalists will face the winner of Brazil and South Korea clash at the quater final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar.
*Croatia win 3-1 on penalties
JAP — Maeda (44 mins)
CRO — Perisic (55 mins)
Japan lineup (3-4-3, right to left): 12. Gonda (GK) — 16. Tomiyasu, 22. Yoshida, 3. Taniguchi — 14. Ito, 6. Endo, 13. Morita, 5. Nagatomo — 8. Doan, 25. Maeda, 15. Kamada.
Croatia lineup (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Livakovic (GK) — 22. Juranovic, 6. Lovren, 20. Gvardiol, 3. Barisic — 10. Modric, 11. Brozovic, 8. Kovacic — 9. Kramaric, 16. Petkovic, 4. Perisic.
By: D. N. A. MENSAH, Daily Mail GH.
By: D. N. A. MENSAH, Daily Mail GH/Follow the writer @SkipperWrites on Twitter