Japan 1(1)-1(3) Croatia: Player ratings as Vatreni prevail in shootout to end Japan's fairy-tale run | 2022 FIFA World Cup

Japan v Croatia: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
The Vatreni are into the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Japan's fairy-tale 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign ended in limp fashion after they lost 3-1 on penalties to Croatia in the Round of 16 on Monday (December 6).

The Samurai Blue missed three kicks in the shootout as the Vatreni advanced to the quarterfinals. Daizen Maeda had given Japan the lead in the first half as another upset seemed to be on the cards, but Ivan Perisic equalised for Croatia in the 55th minute.

Thereafter, it was a case of missed opportunities for both sides, who pressed for a late winner, but there was no separating them. With no goals in the extra time either, a penalty shootout beckoned, where Takumi Minamino missed the first penalty for Japan.


Nikola Vlasic made it 1-0 for Croatia before Kaoru Mitoma also missed for the Asian side. Marcelo Brozovic doubled their advantage, but Takuma Asano gave Japan hope.

Japan's hopes of coming back into the game were further fuel;ed after Marko Livaja hit the post, but Maya Yoshida's miss allowed Mario Pasalic to seal the deal for the Balkan side. Croatia now await the winner of Brazil-South Korea in the last eight on Friday (December 9).

Japan, meanwhile, go home with their heads held high following a memorable campaign, which saw them beat Spain and Germany in the group stage. On that note, here are the player ratings for Japan and Croatia:

Japan Ratings

Shuichi Gonda - 7/10

The Japanese custodian made three saves on the night but had no luck in the shootout.

Takehiro Tomiyasu - 5/10

He made a huge mistake, which allowed Perisic to have a go at goal, but Tomiyasu was lucky that it didn't end up in the back of the net.

Maya Yoshida - 7/10

Yoshida bagged the assist for Maeda's opener but saw his penalty saved in the shootout.

Shogo Taniguchi - 6/10

He was strong in the air but couldn't divert his header on target in stoppage time.

Junya Ito - 6.5/10

Ito created a chance in the 40th minute by launching into a counterattack, but the chance went begging.

Wataru Endo - 6.5/10

Endo forced Dominik Livakovic into a good save in the 57th minute.

Hidemasa Morita - 5/10

The midfielder somehow lasted 105 minutes despite minimal impact in the game.

Yuto Nagatomo - 6/10

Sloppy on the ball, Nagatomo sent a good cross, which Maeda failed to convert.

Ritsu Doan - 7/10

Doan did well to receive the ball between the lines and help Japan move up the pitch.

Daizen Maeda - 7.5/10

He scored the goal that put Japan in front.

Daizen Maeda's first half by numbers vs. Croatia:100% duels won100% tackle success13 touches4 touches in the opp. box3 duels won2 tackles made1 foul won1 shot1 goalAn incredible shift. ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ#FIFAWorldCup

Daichi Kamada - 7/10

The Eintracht Frankfurt star led Japan's press well for much of the game.

Japan Substitutes

Takuma Asano (64' for Maeda) - 7/10

Japan's only scorer in the shootout

Kaoru Mitoma (64' for Nagatomo) - 5/10

His poor penalty attempt was saved by Livakovic.

Hiroki Sakai (75' for Kamada) - 6/10

Sakai made a poor delivery, which meant a potential opening went waste.

Takumi Minamino (87' for Doan) - 5/10

He got Japan under way in the shootout with a terrible kick that was saved comfortably by a diving Livakovic.

Ao Tanaka (106' for Morita) - 5/10

A peripheral figure for most of the game

Croatia Player Ratings

The Vatreni are into the last eight.
The Vatreni are into the last eight.

Dominik Livakovic - 8.5/10

Croatia's hero of the shootout with three saves

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia's hero ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ทA hat-trick of penalty saves! ๐Ÿ‘#FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022

Josip Juranovic - 6.5/10

He made a nice cross for Pasalic, who couldn't get his head to it.

Dejan Lovren - 7.5/10

The veteran defender teed up Perisic with a sublime cross.

Josko Gvardiol - 7/10

Gvardiol put a lot of off-the-ball pressure on Japan.

Borna Barisic - 7/10

He sent a cross for Perisic early into the game and went into the books for a foul in extra time.

Luka Modric - 7.5/10

Once again at the heart of Croatia's proceedings, Modric looked sloppy on the ball at times. He did draw a rasping save in the game with a blistering drive that was destined for the top corner.

Marcelo Brozovic - 8.5/10

Brozovic completed over 100 passes in regulation time and also converted his penalty in the shootout.

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Marcelo Brozovic created more chances (4) and completed more successful passes (115/130) than any other player for either Japan or Croatia.๐Ÿ‘. #CRO #JPNCRO #Qatar2022

Mateo Kovacic - 6/10

Kovacic struggled to produce his usual best

Andrej Kramaric - 6.5/10

Kramaric created a brilliant chance for Ante Budimir in the 66th minute, but the forward headed wide.

Bruno Petkovic - 6/10

The 28-year-old took too long on the ball, missing quite a few opportunities to shoot or pass.

Ivan Perisic - 7.5/10

The Tottenham Hotspur star equalised for Croatia ten minutes into the second half. It was his tenth goal for the team at a major tournament, most by a Croatian player.

Big goal for Croatia, and a landmark one for Ivan Perisic! ๐Ÿ‘Š#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup

Croatia Substitutes

Ante Budmir (62' for Petkovic) - 6/10

He missed a great chance just minutes after coming on and was hooked off in extra time.

Mario Pasalic (68' for Pasalic) - 7/10

Pasalic scored the winning penalty to send Croatia into the quarterfinals.

Nikola Vlasic (99' for Kovacic) - 7/10

The Torino man offered more attacking threat in extra time.

Lovro Majer (99' for Modric) - 6/10

He spurned a great chance in stoppage time by dragging his shot wide.

Marko Livaja (106' for Budimir) - 6/10

Livaja hit his penalty against the post in a brief scare for Croatia in the shootout.

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Edited by Bhargav
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