Dominik Livaković had a hat-trick of penalty saves during the penalty shootout of the round of 16 clash between Japan and Croatia after scores were 1 apiece after extra time.
Japan took the lead through Daizen Maeda two minutes before halftime after a lose ball in the Croatian box was converted by the Celtic player. The Asians made used of their pacey wingers against a more aged Croatian squad.
The equalizer of the Croatia came after Ivan Perišić connected beautifully from a cross off the boot of Dejan Lovren in the 55thminute. 37-year old Luka Modrić was actively involved in creating chances for the Europeans and could have scored a long range volley but he saw his effort diverted for a corner by Shūichi Gonda.
There was nothing to separate both teams after regulation and extra time thus setting up the first penalty shootout of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Dominik Livaković went on to save 3 straight penalties while Croatia only missed once and the game ended 1 – 3 in favour of the Croatia.
Croatia will now face winners of the game between Brazil and South Korea for the quarterfinal pairings.