Croatia qualify for World Cup quarterfinals

Beat Japan on penalties in Qatar

Croatia on Monday (today) qualified for the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar, following a penalty shootout victory over Japan, after a hard-fought 1-1 scoreline in regulation time.

Daizen Maeda handed Japan the lead at the Al Janoub Stadium just before half-time when he pounced following a deep free-kick into the Croatian penalty box. Croatia scored the equaliser through a fantastic header from Ivan Perisic on 55 minutes to set up a tense and nervy final half hour, although both side could not find the winning goal inside 90 minutes, nor in 30 minutes of extra-time.

Croatia, who emerged runners-up four years ago in Russia, advance to the quarterfinal stage again, with hopes of going far in the tournament.

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