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    Dominik Livakovic’s penalty shootout heroics secures win for Croatia

    Football   |   December 6, 2022

    Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved three penalties to help Croatia win over South Korea and secure a quarterfinal place.

    Croatia reached the World Cup quarterfinals after defeating Japan 3-1 on penalties.

    The nervy shootout included three penalty saves from Dominik Livakovic during the shootout – after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.  This was also the first penalty shootout at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

    Ahead of the game, Japan were aiming to beat their third successive European opponent after their monumental victories over Germany and Spain in the group stages.

    While Croatia were hoping to reach the quarterfinals for a third successive time at the FIFA World Cup.

    The two goals of the match came in either half of the break. 

    Japanese forward Daizen Maeda gave Japan the lead in the 43rd minute of the first half after some poor defending by the Croatian players from a corner kick.

    However, Ivan Perisic latched on to a great cross by Dejan Lovren and sent a powerful header in the 55th minute of the second half, which levelled the game.

    Croatia are no strangers to the extra time at major competitions as seven of their last eight knockout games at major tournaments have ended up in them playing for an additional thirty minutes.

    Croatia’s last extra-time ordeal saw them lose to Spain in the round of 16 of Euro 2020 last summer.

    However, this was not going to be the case, as Dominik Livakovic served up a penalty-saving masterclass.

    In the shootout, three of Japan’s penalties were poor, and Livakovic had no trouble saving them.

    On the other hand, Croatia missed just one of their spot-kicks and scored the other three to reach their third successive quarterfinal stage.

    Croatia will now face Brazil in the quarterfinals on Friday.

    Collins Nwokolo

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