Croatia earned a spot in the 2022 World Cup quarter finals with a penalty shootout win against Japan.
Daizen Maeda’s opener was cancelled out by an Ivan Perisic header, but the two teams ultimately couldn’t be separated in 120 minutes of football.
Dominik Livakovic was Croatia’s hero, saving three penalties in the shootout as only Takuma Asano converted for Japan before Mario Pasalic’s winner.
The question was always going to be whether or not an ageing Croatian team could cope with the energy of Japan. The early signs suggested they were going to struggle.
In fact, Croatia got a huge let off…