Original title: Penalty shootout loss to Croatia (quote)
Japan’s fourth stop in the round of 16 (theme)
Beijing Daily (Reporter Wang Yang) In the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup that ended early yesterday morning Beijing time, the Japanese team lost 1-3 to Croatia in a penalty shootout, thus losing 2-4 on aggregate. After 2002, 2010, and 2018, it is the fourth time that they have stopped in the top 16 of the World Cup.
After the opening, the Japanese team changed the defensive tactics used in the first half of the group match against Germany and Spain, but increased the offensive initiative. After the Croatian team withstood the Japanese team’s opening three tricks, they gradually showed their control in the midfield. In the 43rd minute, the Japanese team played an exquisite tactical corner kick. Don Anru assisted Maeda Daran with a successful shot in front of the goal, 1-0.
In the second half, the Croatian team chose to strengthen the long pass transfer and cross the ball. In the 55th minute, central defender Lovren passed the ball diagonally into the penalty area. Perisic rushed to the lower corner of the goal and succeeded. Croatia tied the score at 1-1.
In the subsequent game, both teams failed to score again, and the game entered overtime. The two teams were still tied in overtime, and the game was dragged into a penalty shootout. Croatia have twice won penalty shootouts in the knockout stages of the last World Cup, giving them a psychological advantage ahead of the shootout.
Sure enough, the first two players of the Japanese team, Takumi Minamino and Kaoru Misaki, were easily saved by goalkeeper Livakovic of the Croatian team. The Croatian team made two free throws. In the third round, Takuma Asano of the Japanese team made a penalty, and Livaja of the Croatian team missed a penalty. In the fourth round of life and death, Livakovic was still brave. He saved the penalty kick of the Japanese team captain Maya Yoshida, while Pasalić of the Croatian team scored a penalty and escorted the “Grid Army” to advance to the top 8 .
However, Japanese coach Mori Hoichi said the performances of the players proved that Japanese football had entered a new era after beating Germany and Spain in the group stage. “We have to take advantage of the frustration of this penalty shootout to win the next game.”