News Matches

Japan v Croatia Live Commentary, 05/12/2022

PEN 1 - 3
1 - 1
JPN
CRO
D. Maeda (43)
I. Perišić (55)
Al Janoub Stadium
(FT 1 - 1)

Commentary

That's all for today, goodbye!
Croatia have won all three of their World Cup penalty shootouts (also vs Denmark and Russia in 2018). The win means they will face either Brazil or South Korea in the quarter-finals while Japan will be on their way back home.
Both teams started the game with a lot of energy but as the minutes ticked by, Croatia began to control the game and dictate the pace, which was very slow. Perisic had Croatia's best chance of the half but could not beat Gonda from close range following a mistake from Tomiyasu. Japan found some momentum at the end of the half and made it count after Maeda scored his first goal of the tournament. He reacted quickest to Yoshida's knockdown to give Japan the lead in the 43rd minute. The only highlight in the second half was Perisic's equaliser as if bullet header could not be stopped this time by Gonda. Extra time was quiet and saw a lack of chances other than a deflected effort from Mitoma. Livakovic became the hero in the penalty shootout as he saved three of the four Japan penalties, with only Asano scoring. Pasalic dispatched the winning penalty with Croatia winning the shootout 3-1.
FULL TIME: JAPAN 1-1 CROATIA (CROATIA WIN 3-1 ON PENALTIES)
GOALLL! PASALIC SENDS CROATIA INTO THE NEXT ROUND!
D. Livaković
Penalty Save
Croatia
SAVE! Yoshida tries find the bottom left corner but Livakovic dives well to stop the shot!
SAVED! Livakovic saves his third of the shootout after he dives to his right to stop Yoshida's penalty.
POST! Livaja hits the post with his penalty after his slow run up!
GOAL! Asano scores Japan's first penalty on their third attempt as Livakovic dives the wrong way!
GOAL! Brozovic places the ball down the middle of the goal to score!
D. Livaković
Penalty Save
Croatia
SAVE! Livakovic saves again as he dives confidently to his right!
MISSED! Mitoma shoots to his left but Livakovic saves again!
Minamino tries to roll it into the goal but Livakovic dives the right way!
SAVED! Livakovic saves Minamino’s penalty as he dives low to his left!
Following the toss, Japan will take the first penalty.
Croatia have won both of their World Cup shootouts, going second both times (both in 2018) - only two teams have won their first three World Cup shootouts. The team going second has won the last six shootouts in the competition.
Extra time was very fairly quiet from both sides as Japan sat deep and looked to counter while Croatia tried to get in behind with lofted passes. Mitoma came closest to scoring in the 30 minutes as his deflected effort was saved well by Livakovic.
120' + 1' END OF EXTRA TIME: JAPAN 1-1 CROATIA
120' + 1' CHANCE! Japan fail to clear their lines and Majer has a good chance on the edge of the box, but he drags his shot wide.
120' There will be a minimum of one additional minute.
119' Croatia are on the front foot and look more likely to score a winner in the final minutes of extra time.
117' Brozovic has completed 111 passes for Croatia so far. The highest for Japan is Endo with 59 completed passes.
B. Barišić
Yellow Card
Croatia
116' Barisic receives a yellow card for a poor challenge.
115' Japan slowly get players up the pitch and Sakai has the chance to find a team-mate in the box with a cross, but his delivery is poor.
113' Gonda catches the ball from a cross and tries to find Ito with a long kick up the pitch. Gvardiol does well to intercept and put pressure back on Japan.
111' Orsic takes an in-swinging corner for Croatia but Gonda punches the ball out of the box.
109' Mitoma finds himself in a good position again but chooses to cross this time rather than shoot. The chance comes to nothing as Japan push forward.
107' Croatia are continuing to press high up the pitch as the attack is now made up of fresh substitutes.
105' Croatia get the final 15 minutes underway!
M. Oršić
I. Perišić
Croatia
105' Orsic replaces Perisic on the wing for Croatia.
M. Livaja
A. Budimir
Croatia
105' Budimir, who was subbed on earlier, makes way for Livaja in the Croatia attack.
A. Tanaka
H. Morita
Japan
105' Tanaka replaces Morita for the second period of extra time.
Croatia controlled most of the first half of extra time but a late flurry of chances from Japan saw Livakovic make a good save to stop Mitoma's deflected effort from hitting the back of the net. Japan are looking to counter-attack but are struggling at the moment.
105' + 2' HALF-TIME: JAPAN 1-1 CROATIA.
105' + 2' Japan try to break forward but Asano has another poor touch and Lovren regains possession for Croatia.
105' There will be a minimum of two additional minutes.
105' SAVE! Mitoma sprints to the edge of the box before shooting but Livakovic makes a good save to stop the powerful effort.
103' Japan are finding it difficult to get a hold of possession or even break forward as they focus on defending for the time being.
101' Juranovic sends a long throw into the box and the ball falls for Perisic, but Sakai makes a good block to stop the shot.
N. Vlašić
M. Kovačić
Croatia
99' Vlasic comes on for Kovacic for more of an attacking threat in the Croatia midfield.
L. Majer
L. Modrić
Croatia
99' Majer replaces Modric in midfield for Croatia as they look to add more energy to that part of the pitch.
98' Japan are sitting deep when defending but doing well to force Croatia into playing long balls rather than shorter passes.
96' Tomiyasu and Pasalic are receiving protocol checks for a clash of heads. Both are fine and good to carry on.
95' Croatia have the best 100% record in the World Cup in games that have at least gone to extra time, progressing from all three such ties, all of which came in 2018.
94' Mitoma drives forward and plays the ball into Asano, but the striker cannot get the pass under control and Croatia clear the danger.
92' Taniguchi does well to win the header from a corner but cannot guide his effort toward the target.
90' Minamino gets the first half of extra time underway for Japan!
Following Perisic's equaliser, both sides seemed to have lost a lot of energy in the game. The substitutes for both teams are yet to make an impact as extra time is set to start.
Japan started the second half well but were caught off guard after Perisic equalised with a great header following a cross from Lovren. Croatia looked more likely to score after the goal but neither country looked assured in the opposition box.
90' + 4' END OF 90 MINUTES: JAPAN 1-1 CROATIA
90' + 2' Gvardiol loses the ball in sloppy fashion as he tries to find Perisic. Both sides look very weary now.
M. Kovačić
Yellow Card
Croatia
90' Kovacic receives the first yellow card of the game after a poor challenge on Ito.
90' There will be a minimum of four additional minutes.
88' Sakai is not happy with the referee after he is penalised for a foul on Barisic. Japan were in a good position before the whistle blew.
T. Minamino
R. Dōan
Japan
87' Minamino replaces Doan as Japan look for a late winner.
85' Croatia look more likely to score here as Japan's attacker seem to be losing a bit of energy.
83' The midfield is far more open now than it has been all game. Both teams are sending more players forward as the minutes tick by.
81' Both sides are going for the win here rather than hoping for some luck in extra time.
79' Croatia are trying to use their physical advantage to unsettle Japan, but it backfires and Endo wins a free-kick.
77' Yoshida's pass to Tomiyasu is poor and Perisic intercepts it. He drives forward and shoots, but Tomiyasu does well to block the attempt.
H. Sakai
D. Kamada
Japan
75' Sakai comes on for Kamada as Japan's third change of the match.
74' Juranovic sends in a good cross to Pasalic, but the latter cannot find the back of the net with his header.
72' Doan is doing well to receive the ball between the lines and help Japan move up the pitch.
70' Japan are trying to increase the tempo of their passing but perhaps playing too quickly for their own good at the moment.
M. Pašalić
A. Kramarić
Croatia
68' Pasalic replaces Kramaric as Croatia look to overload Japan in the middle of the pitch.
66' HUGE CHANCE! Kramaric is at the heart of a good passing move from Croatia and he proceeds to send in a good cross to Budimir. The striker heads the ball wide of the target from close range!
T. Asano
D. Maeda
Japan
64' Goalscorer Maeda makes way for Asano in attack for Japan.
K. Mitoma
Y. Nagatomo
Japan
64' Mitoma comes on for Nagatomo on the left side of the Japan midfield.
63' SAVE! Modric shoots on the half-volley and connect well with the ball. Gondo dives to his right a makes a good save against the dipping effort.
A. Budimir
B. Petković
Croatia
62' Budimir replaces Petkovic in attack for Croatia.
61' Perisic has been directly involved in 10 goals (six goals, four assists) in the World Cup, only Lionel Messi (12) and Kylian Mbappe (11) has been involved in more since the Croatian's debut in the competition in 2014.
59' Croatia are gaining confidence from their equaliser but Japan are still playing with confidence as they look to retake the lead.
57' SAVE! Endo shoots from outside of the box and forces Livakovic into a good save!
D. Lovren
Assist
Croatia
55' Lovren is given a lot of space and time on the ball and chooses to send a cross into the box. He finds Perisic and Croatia equalise from out of nowhere.
I. Perišić
Goal
Croatia
55' GOALLL!! 1-1 CROATIA! PERISIC! Perisic equalises for Croatia with a thumping header! Lovren’s cross into the box is slightly underhit but it favours Perisic, who heads the ball into the bottom right corner with a lot of power. Game on!
54' Doan sends in a flat corner to Taniguchi at the front post. The defender tries to flick it on with a backheel, but his pass goes the wrong way and Croatia get the ball away.
52' Petkovic is taking far too long on the ball for Croatia. He is missing the opportunity to either shoot or pass and making life fairly easy for the Japan defenders.
50' Japan are pressing much higher up the pitch than they did in the first period. They are refusing to drop back as Kamada and Maeda lead the press.
48' Endo does well to win the ball with a sliding challenge on Kovacic. Japan are starting the half well.
46' Japan start quickly and Kamada tries his luck from distance but shoots just over the bar.
46' Kamada gets the second half underway for Japan!
Although Croatia are enjoying more of the possession, their passing has been lazy and too slow for Japan to be pinned back. They are leaving themselves very open for a counter-attack, which is exactly what Japan want. Modric, Brozovic, and Kovacic will need to move the ball quicker if they want to get back into this game.
Both teams started the game with a lot of energy but as the minutes ticked by, Croatia began to control the game and dictate the pace, which was very slow. Perisic had Croatia's best chance of the half but could not beat Gonda from close range following a mistake from Tomiyasu. Japan found some momentum at the end of the half and made it count after Maeda scored his first goal of the tournament. He reacted quickest to Yoshida's knockdown to give Japan the lead in the 43rd minute.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: JAPAN 1-0 CROATIA
45' + 2' Croatia win a late corner in the half. Modric takes it short but it leads to nothing after the ball sails over the head of Lovren.
45' There will be a minimum of two additional minutes.
M. Yoshida
Assist
Japan
43' Yoshida does well to rise high and win the initial header from Doan's cross. The heads the ball back into a dangerous position and Maeda is first to the ball and puts Japan in the lead.
D. Maeda
Goal
Japan
43' GOALLL!! 1-0 JAPAN! MAEDA! Maeda gives Japan the lead just before half-time! Japan take a short corner and Doan sends in a cross. Yoshida wins the initial header and Maeda reacts quickest to the knockdown!
42' Japan are doing well to gain momentum and control the game just before the break as they search for an opener.
40' CHANCE! Ito leads a Japan counter-attack after a poor free-kick from Modric. They take their time and Kamada finds himself in a great position. He leans back too much when shooting and fires over the bar!
38' Japan are enjoying their first spell of possession in the game but they are not finding much joy in the final third.
36' Modric tries to increase the tempo of this game as it has almost been reduced to a walking pace.
34' Doan and Maeda do well to link up on the edge of the box but the final pass is still missing for Japan.
32' Japan are trying to match Croatia in their slow build-up play but the 2018 semi-finalists are pressing a lot higher than they are.
30' Japan finally break forward but Croatia once again get bodies back quickly and smother the ball away from Nagatomo.
28' Barisic sends a cross into Perisic, who flicks it toward the back post. Kramaric tries to get on the end of it but is crowded out by Japanese defenders.
27' Japan are struggling to win the ball back from Croatia and are slowly dropping deeper in their own half. They are also losing possession quickly once regaining it.
25' The tempo of the game is slowing down as Croatia patiently try to break down the Japan defence.
23' Gvardiol beats Doan to the ball and wins a free-kick but takes a knock in doing so. He seems to be able to continue.
21' Ito is having a lot of success on the right wing. He is consistently able to find space and put a cross into the box.
19' Doan wins a free-kick and Japan try a routine off the training ground, but Croatia do well to clear the danger.
17' Japan do well to play out of the Croatia press and work the ball to Nagatomo out wide. He sends in a good cross but Maeda fails to connect with it.
15' Croatia are very much dominating possession in this game. Japan averaged just 32.3% possession across their three group stage games at this World Cup. Their two wins over Spain and Germany came with 17.7% and 26.1% possession respectively, while their one defeat came to Costa Rica in a match in which they had 56.8% possession.
13' CLOSE! Ito is on the right wing and sends in a low cross toward the front post. Maeda slides to try and get on the end of it but the ball is just out of his reach!
11' Both sides are doing well to force the other to play longer passes when going forward and lose the ball. Japan are sitting slightly deeper when defending compared to Croatia.
9' CHANCE! A mistake from Tomiyasu puts Perisic in on goal. The winger takes his time before shooting but can't beat Gonda with his effort.
7' Ito breaks forward down the right wing and tries to find Maeda with a threaded pass. Croatia do well to get back in numbers and stop the pass.
5' Croatia are starting to dictate the pace of this game and control possession, but the Japan counter-attack is still a big threat.
3' CHANCE! Taniguchi has the chance to open the scoring with a header from close range but he cannot hit the target!
2' Doan sends in a dangerous cross from a deep free-kick but it beats every player in the box.
1' Kramaric gets the game underway for Croatia!
The players are coming out of the tunnel and making their way onto the pitch!
This will be the third World Cup meeting between Japan and Croatia, with Japan winless and goalless in the previous two – a 0-1 defeat in 1998 and a goalless draw in 2006, both in the group stage. Those two matches are Croatia’s only previous World Cup games against an Asian nation.
Moriyasu makes three changes from Japan’s win over Spain as Tomiyasu, Endo, and Doan come in for Tanaka, Kubo, and the suspended Itakura. Dalic makes two changes as Barisic comes into the starting 11 for Sosa, who is out with an illness, and Petkovic replaces Livaja in the Croatia attack.
SUBS: Ivo Grbic, Ivica Ivusic, Martin Erlic, Lovro Majer, Nikola Vlasic, Marko Livaja, Mario Pasalic, Ante Budimir, Mislav Orsic, Domagoj Vida, Josip Sutalo, Luka Sucic, Kristijan Jakic.
Croatia (4-3-3): Dominik Livakovic; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Josko Gvardiol, Borna Barisic; Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic; Andrej Kramaric, Bruno Petkovic, Ivan Perisic.
SUBS: Eiji Kawashima, Daniel Schmidt, Miki Yamane, Gaku Shibasaki, Kaoru Mitoma, Takumi Minamino, Ao Tanaka, Takuma Asano, Hiroki Sakai, Shuto Machino, Ayase Ueda, Yuki Soma, Hiroki Ito.
Japan (3-4-3): Shuichi Gonda; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Maya Yoshida, Shogo Taniguchi; Junyo Ito, Wataru Endo, Hidemasa Morita, Yuto Nagatamo; Ritsu Doan, Daizen Maeda, Daichi Kamada.
Croatia went unbeaten in the group stages but only managed to finish second as they beat Canada 4-1 and had goalless draws against Belgium and Morocco in Group F. Zlatko Dalic’s team were under pressure in their last group game against Belgium but managed to hold on to secure a vital draw.
Japan shocked most football fans after beating both Germany and Spain 2-1 on their way to topping Group E. Hajime Moriyasu’s side only conceded three times in the group phase, once in each game, and scored four times. Ritsu Doan is Japan’s top scorer so far with two goals, bagging in both of their victories.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the World Cup round of 16 fixture between Japan and Croatia.