Croatia 1 – 1 Japan (Croatia wins 3-1 on penalties)
Brazil v South Korea (6am)
Croatia reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Monday with a dramatic 3-1 penalty shoot-out win over Japan after a tense last-16 clash ended 1-1.
Mario Pasalic struck the winning penalty to send Croatia through after Ivan Perisic had pulled Croatia level in the 55th minute of normal time following Daizen Maeda’s opener for Japan just before the break.
Croatia now face either Brazil or South Korea in the last eight and continued midfield icon Luka Modric’s stay at his fourth and likely final World Cup.
Japan’s bid to reach the last eight for the first time in their history came to a crushing end after another display of the sort which saw off Spain and Germany on their way to topping Group E.
However they could not claim one more big European scalp in the shape of the 2018 finalists and go home in the second round, as they did four years ago, after having three of their penalties saved.
Japan could easily have been ahead within three minutes when Shogo Taniguchi glanced a header wide from point-blank range, and 10 minutes later Daizen Maeda came close to turning in Junya Ito’s brilliantly placed low ball from the right flank.
In the meantime Perisic had let off a shot from a tight angle which led to a goalmouth scramble, but had Croatia scored they risked the goal being ruled out for what looked like a clear push on Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Bruno Petkovic then wasted a great opportunity in the 25th minute, strolling through almost unopposed onto a long through ball only to dawdle and fail to get a pass off to Andrej Kramaric who was charging into the box.
Kramaric was then too slow to latch on to Perisic’s dangerous flick-on and from there Japan took control, and the lead.
Daichi Kamada had already blasted over after a superb passing move when in the 43rd minute Maeda fired in the opener after Ritsu Doan’s cross was knocked down by Maya Yoshida.
Japan looked the better team and ready to inflict more damage but out of the blue Croatia’s most dangerous player Perisic levelled the scores with a bullet header from Dejan Lovren’s deep cross.
Almost immediately afterwards Wataru Endo responded by having a good strike tipped over the bar by Dominik Livakovic, before Shuichi Gonda pulled off the save of the match to keep out Modric’s beautifully-struck, dripping shot.
Modric was replaced nine minutes into the first half of extra-time in which Japan had the best chance, Kaoru Mitoma’s effort well tipped away by Livakovic.
With penalties drawing close, one final chance fell to Modric’s replacement Lovro Majer, who dragged his shot wide, but his team prevailed in the shoot-out to end the Blue Samurai’s entertaining adventure.
2.15AM: URUGUAY FACE PROBE OVER EXPLOSIVE EXIT
Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani and several team-mates face disciplinary action from FIFA following the South Americans’ stormy World Cup exit, a statement said on Monday.
The world governing body said disciplinary proceedings had been opened against Cavani, Jose Maria Gimenez, Fernando Muslera and Diego Godin after a melee following Uruguay’s 2-0 win over Ghana.
Uruguay were eliminated despite their victory on Friday due to South Korea’s 2-1 defeat of Portugal in Group H.
Referee Daniel Siebert was surrounded by a group of furious Uruguay players after the match, in which several decisions went against La Celeste, including two penalty claims.
Cavani, 35, later knocked over a VAR monitor in disgust as he left the pitch. As well as the disciplinary action against players, Uruguay’s football association faces potential sanctions for breaches of regulations relating to offensive behaviour and misconduct of players
11pm PELE’S DAUGHTERS GIVE UPDATE ON ILL FOOTBALL ICON
Brazilian football superstar Pele’s daughters told his fans Sunday that their father’s health was not at serious risk, saying they are confident he will return home when he recovers from a respiratory infection.
The 82-year-old has been hospitalised in Sao Paulo since Tuesday amid ongoing treatments for colon cancer, which was first diagnosed in September 2021.
Pele “is sick, he is elderly, but at this point he is hospitalised for a lung infection,” Kely Arantes Nascimento told the TV channel Globo.
“And when he gets better, he’ll come home,” she said.
“We are not saying goodbye in the hospital,” she insisted, explaining that the respiratory illness was the result of a Covid-19 infection the sporting icon had contracted three weeks ago.
Her sister, Flavia Arantes Nascimento, denied reports from the daily Folha de S.Paulo and ESPN Brazil that Pele was no longer responding to chemotherapy and was now receiving only “palliative care.”
She told the news channel that her father was not in the intensive care unit, but a regular ward, and that the family was “tired of receiving condolences” and that the cancer treatment is “delivering results.”
“It’s really unfair that they’re saying he’s at the terminal stage. It’s not that, believe us,” she said.
Earlier Sunday, fans of Pele — born Edson Arantes do Nascimento — congregated outside the Sao Paulo hospital where the three-time world champion is staying.
More than 100 devotees prayed for the recovery of the man widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time.
“We are a spiritual force” praying for the sporting idol as he wages “one of the toughest battles of his life,” one fan, Marcos Bispo dos Santos, told AFP.
Doctors at Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital said Saturday that Pele remained “stable”. Pele “has had a good response to care without any worsening in the clinical picture in the last 24 hours,” they said in a statement.
The star later struck an optimistic note in an Instagram post, saying, “My friends, I want to keep everyone calm and positive. I’m strong, with a lot of hope and I follow my treatment as usual.”
On Sunday, his fans stood mostly in silence outside the clinic in the Morumbi neighbourhood of western Sao Paulo, holding a banner bearing an image of a youthful Pele and marked “Torcida Joven” (“Young Fans”).
“Long live the king!” said several posters pasted on walls near entrances to the hospital.
Around noon, the fans formed a circle and held hands as they recited an “Our Father.”
Originally published as FIFA World Cup 2022: Latest news, results, schedule