Japan-Croatia round of 16
Presentation of the Japan-Croatia match
In this round of 16 the result should be in favor of Croatia, due to the technical qualities of the team led by Modric. Watch out for Japan though, if the team that takes the field is able to repeat the matches played against Germany and Spain in the group stage, it won’t be a walk in the park for the Croatians.
Croatia will show all its quality, especially in the middle of the field with the Modric, Brozovic and Kovacic trio, which is one of the strongest in the world competition. He will also be able to count on the defense that will rely on the twenty-year-old Gvardiol, the real revelation of this tournament. The only weak point is the attack, because Livaja is a good player, but not able to decide the match up front on his own.
Japan will rely on defense with Yoshida, in midfield on Tanaka the true leader of the team and forward should give space to Doan, decisive against Spain. But it will certainly be the Japanese collective that will be the team’s strong point, in trying to put the more experienced Croatians in difficulty.
Match Commentary-First Half
Japan got off to a strong start right away, in the 2nd minute Doan kicked a free-kick that became dangerous, the ball was deflected for a corner kick. In the following serve Taniguchi’s header that touches the net. On the 8th opportunity for Croatia with Kramaric who shoots on goal but the ball is intercepted by the Japanese defenders. On the 13th time again for Japan, Meda fails to deflect in a slide.
In the 24th minute, Gvardiol’s attempt sent the ball wide of the goal. In the 26th minute Croatia again wastes an opportunity with Petkovic. At 28′ scrum in Japan’s penalty area but the Croatians are unable to push the ball into the net. In the 41st minute there was an opportunity for Japan, with Kamada overcoming a couple of opponents, he kicked on goal but the shot went wide. In the 43rd minute Japan took the lead, Goal by Maeda, who pounced on a ball coming from a corner kick. Halftime in the 47th minute.
First half with Croatia trying to impose their game, while Japan with the speed of their players tries to raise the pace of the match from the competitive point of view.
Second half with Japan restarting in attack, in the 46th minute Kamada’s shot sends it wide. In the 55th minute Croatia scored with Perisic, who headed in a cross from the right. In the 57th minute Japan’s reaction with Endo, who kicks hard, the Croatian goalkeeper Livakovic deflects for a corner kick. At 63′ opportunity for Modric with a shot from outside the area that goalkeeper Gonda saves.
On the 66th occasion for Budimir who misses the goal with his header. On the 77th occasion for Perisic who sees his shot deflected by Tomiyasu, after a long run in the left lane. In the 86th minute Pasalic’s header with the ball goes out of bounds. In the 90th minute Kovacic was booked for an imprudent foul against an opponent. In the 95th minute the referee whistles and decrees the end of the match.
The second half ends with a score of 1-1, extra time must be played to decide who goes to the quarter-finals. In the second half, Croatia reacted immediately and equalized immediately through Perisic. Japan is not as brilliant as in the first half and is thinking about defending itself. Croatia tried on several occasions but failed to materialize the opportunities created.
First half extra time
In the 92nd minute, Taniguchi’s header goes wide. In the 105th minute, Mitoma went on the counterattack and kicked goalkeeper Livakovic.
Second extra time
In the 116th minute Barisic was booked for an imprudent foul on an opponent. On the 120th occasion for Croatia with Majier, his shot goes wide. At 121 ‘final whistle of the referee. It goes to penalties to decide who will go to the quarter-finals between Japan and Croatia.
Croatia advances to the quarterfinals with the result of 3-1.