Croatia beat Japan on penalties to reach World Cup quarter-finals

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Croatia reached their third quarter-final as they beat Japan 3-1 on penalties after the score finished 1-1 after extra time.

The Japanese fans were sent into raptures two minutes before half-time when Daizen Maeda poked home from close range, before Ivan Perisic made it 1-1 ten minutes into the second half with a great header.

The two sides huffed and puffed to find that all-important goal that would put them in front, but even extra time couldn’t separate them.

Penalties commenced and it was not a good start for Japan as Takumi Minamino missed his spot-kick, as Nikola Vlasic followed up for Croatia, dispatching his effort.

Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma then missed his kick, before Marcelo Brozovic made it 2-0 to Croatia.

Takuma Asano converted to pull one back and they were then given a reprieve as Marko Livaja struck the post.

READ MORE: (Video) Ivan Perisic scores great header for Croatia against Japan

Japan couldn’t capitalise on the error though, as captain Maya Yoshida saw his attempt saved before Pasalic tucked his effort way to win the game for Croatia.

The win sends the Croats into their third ever quarter-final, where they will face either Brazil or South Korea – who face off this evening – on Friday.

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