Resident World Cup 2022 giant killers Japan will look to pull off another impressive scalp at the tournament when they take on Croatia in a last-16 clash at the Al Janoub Stadium on Monday.Hazime Moriasu’s men finished top of Group E significantly above Spain and Germany, while forced to finish second in Group F behind 2018 runners-up Morocco. Japan vs Croatia FIFA World Cup
Japan vs Croatia FIFA World Cup
It was plenty of camera angles when Ao Tanaka found himself in the right place at the right time to head home Japan’s second goal in a 2-1 win over Spain, who took the lead against the Asian nation before Moriyasu’s half-time substitution paid dividends. One more time.
Statistic of Japan at a Glance
Alvaro Morata took just 11 minutes to break the deadlock for Spain before substitute Ritsu Don’s venomous leveler and fellow half-time substitute Kaoru Mitoma managed to keep the ball in play for Tanaka to settle the contest and send Japan into the last 16. dramatic fashion.
Any team that beats the 2010 and 2014 world champions in a tournament undoubtedly deserves a place in the knockout rounds, and Japan finally broke their cycle of last-16 places and then group stage exits, reaching the knockout stages four years ago in Russia.
The Samurai Blue are far from the finished product, as evidenced by their disappointing 1-0 loss to Costa Rica on matchday two, but they can now set up an all-Asian quarter-final with South Korea, although their nearest neighbors Brazil must first eliminate them from their last sixteen. in the fight
Japan are still waiting for their first quarter-final appearance at the World Cup and are no strangers to having their backs against the wall – averaging just 32.3% possession in Qatar so far – and Moriasu’s super subs must prove as effective as ever to make history on Monday.
Statistic of Croatia at a Glance
Had Romelu Lukaku managed to finish off one of the gilt-edged chances he inexplicably squandered against Croatia, the Checkered Ones could very well have crashed out of the competition, but the Chelsea attacker’s instincts worked in their favour.
Steady defending from in-demand RB Leipzig starlet Josko Gaverdiol also helped get Zlatko Dalic’s side over the line in a 0-0 draw, which saw the 2018 runners-up finish second in Group F behind Morocco and qualify for the knockout rounds on skins. of their teeth.
Four goals past Canada is all well and good for Croatia – as is their excellent defensive record, conceding just one goal so far in the tournament – but they have already failed to score in as many games at this World Cup. In their previous 13 matches.
Prediction Japan vs Croatia FIFA World Cup
Nevertheless, the Checkered Ones are now on a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions heading into the last-16 and have moved on from both their previous ties at this stage of the competition, but Dalic’s side can take nothing against the counter-attack. The invading machine that is Japan.
Since losing 4-3 in their first meeting with Japan 25 years ago, Croatia beat the Samurai Blue at the 1998 World Cup before being held to a goalless draw in the 2006 edition, and another low-scoring affair in Qatar is not out of the realm of possibility in this last-16 showdown.