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Croatia qualify for quarterfinals, beat Japan on penalties

Croatia’s Livakovic made three saves against Japan in the penalty shootout

World Cup Japan Croatia football Japan's Hiroki Sakai (right) and Croatia's Borna Barisic jump for the ball during the World Cup round of 16 football match between Japan and Croatia at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar | AP

Croatia edged out Japan on penalties in their round of 16 match at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, to enter the quarterfinal, on Monday.

Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic and Nikola Vlasic successfully converted the penalties while Japan's Takuma Asano was the lone scorer for the team during the shootout.

The match went to extra time with the scores level at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, after Ivan Perisic's brilliant goal cancelled out Daizen Maeda's opener for Japan. Perisic met Dejan Lovren's cross with a powerful header to put Croatia level 10 minutes after the interval.

Maeda had given Japan the lead in the 43rd minute, firing home from close range after Ritsu Doan delivered an inswinging cross into the penalty area.

Croatia's record in World Cup penalty shootouts is 3/3. They beat both Denmark and Russia in 2018 in the last 16 and quarterfinals. Japan's is 0/2. They also lost to Paraguay in 2010.

Croatia will next play against Brazil or South Korea.

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