Dominik Livakovic, the goalkeeper, saved three penalties in the shootout to help Croatia defeat Japan 3-1 and go to the World Cup quarterfinals. Following a 1-1 tie in overtime, Livakovic blocked the first two shots before turning aside Maya Yoshida's attempt. Mario Pasalic then tucked his penalty into the corner to advance his team to the quarter finals.
The team of Zlatko Dalic, who was defeated by France in the tournament's final four years ago, will play either Brazil or South Korea in the following round on Friday. When Daizen Maeda of Celtic scored following Yoshida's knockdown two minutes before halftime, Japan seized a deserving lead.
Ivan Perisic's spectacular bullet header from Dejan Lovren's cross brought Croatia back even in the second half, and with 10 goals overall, he now holds the record for most goals scored by his nation in major competitions. As the game entered its extra 30 minutes, neither team could make a breakthrough. Livakovic was chosen by Croatia to lead their celebrations after the game's nerve-wracking penalties.