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A giant Livakovic during the penalty shootout
At the final whistle, all his compatriots rushed at him.
If Croatia qualified for the quarter-finals, it owes it to its goalkeeper who, during the penalty shoot-out, was impressive stopping three out of four Japanese shots.
During the match, he was also vigilant, only beaten on Maeda's strike on which he could not do anything.
While his attacking buddies Kramaric and Petkovic were in big trouble, the Tottenham player was the one through whom the danger came.
From the start of the match, he surprises Tomiyasu to offer a first opportunity which will be wasted by Kramaric.
In the second half, he placed a magnificent header on a cross from Lovren into the side netting, out of reach of the Japanese goalkeeper.
Japan was exciting
At halftime, the Japanese were leading 1-0 with only 40% possession of the ball.
But it was anything but a robbery for Hajime Moriyasu's men who, as soon as they got the ball, did something interesting with it.
Fearsome in transition, they were an exciting team to watch.
Very fair technically, they did not try to control the match, preferring to play all the shots.
They were nevertheless less and less visible as the match progressed.
We are almost sad not to see them continue their journey against a Croatia that was within their reach.
The Japanese kop
If we can regret that once again an eighth-final stadium is not full, we must salute the atmosphere that there was.
In the grandstand match, the Croats largely lost to the Japanese and their impressive kop.
They were however few in number but we vibrated thanks to the public as rarely in this World Cup.
The disappointment of Japanese fans.
JOHN SIBLEY / PANORAMIC
This may be his last World Cup and Real Madrid player hasn't helped his teammates much.
The playmaker of his team was seen very little during this match, not bringing much.
Only a shot well deflected by Gonda in the 63rd is to his credit.
His coach even released him before the end of the match, in the first half of extra time.
The Japanese bench
In the group stage, against Spain and Germany, Japan made the difference in the second period thanks to their bench.
Today, against the Croats, the entrants did not have the expected impact.
Worse, the “Samurai Blue” played less and less well over the course of the game.
Up front, Asano, who replaced striker Maeda, did not achieve much.
And as a symbol, Minamino and Mitoma, returned during the game missed their shot on goal.