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FIFA World Cup 2022: Japan vs Croatia penalty shootout heartbreak, Brazil vs South Korea round of 16 live updates, score, results

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The agony and ecstasy of the World Cup was on full display on Tuesday morning as Japan was eliminated in heartbreaking scenes.

The Asian nation was yet again denied a spot in the quarter-finals after losing a penalty shootout to Croatia.

It was cruel viewing as Japan fell apart in the shoot-out while Croatia proved it is the king of penalties, winning its third consecutive shoot-out at the World Cup.

It was an immense scare for the 2018 runners up after it ended 1-1 at the end of 120 minutes.

Ultimately, the Europeans prevailed 3-1, having ridden their luck during the one-sided tie-breaker

Croatia will now face either Brazil or South Korea in the quarter-finals. That match is locked at 0-0 in the first half.

Brazil is one of the tournament favourites but is yet to reach top gear in Qatar.

With Australia and now Japan eliminated, South Korea is the only remaining Asian country left in the tournament.

The group stage was hailed as one of the best ever after all sorts of history was created — and now we look like getting the best quarterfinals in recent memory.

5.15am AEDT – ‘Horrific’ Japan falls apart against Croatia

Japan looked a team that could match it with the best teams in the world for 120 minutes, but are leaving Qatar with the world laughing at them.

For the third time in four years Croatia triumphed in a World Cup penalty shoot-out, but the first penalties taken suggest it was a case of Japan losing it more than Croatia winning it.

Keeper Dominik Livakovic was the hero, while some of Japan’s heroes were left looking very human.

Livakovic made three saves from four penalties and two of them were giftwrapped for him when Kaoru Mitoma and Takumi Minamino failed to strike the ball with any power or accuracy.

With Croatia leading 2-0 after three attempts each, it was all over when Maya Yoshida also struck a relatively poor penalty and Mario Pasalic slotted the winner.

English football legend Alan Shearer was scathing of Japan’s performance in the shootout.

“The experience told in the end,” he told the BBC.

“The guys who have done it before know what it’s like to be under pressure in that situation. They handled it so much better, you could tell that.

“It was so frustrating from a Japanese point of view, it was like they have never practised penalties, it looked that way. It was too big for them.

The Japan penalty takers looked so casual. All three of them, I don’t think any of them struck them as hard as they wanted to.”

Socceroos great Craig Foster was also said Japan failed to deal with the pressure.

“Japan folded in the big moment,” Foster said on SBS.

“It meant so much for them to make that quarter-final. Minamino’s penalty was really poor to get it started. Mitoma, a young player, very poor penalty. Yoshida is not quite as bad, it was heading in the corner but Livakovic made brilliant saves. The other two he didn’t need to do too much. The first penalty was absolutely shocking.”

Another World Cup broadcaster called it “horrific”.

Japan scored just before half time, but Croatia came back early in the second half with a goal from Ivan Perisic levelling the score.

Japan’s pain at the end of the match made for some extraordinary photos.

Neymar nearing return for Brazil

Neymar, whose $344 million (AUD) transfer fee to PSG was the most expensive in history, could make his return to the World Cup stage as Brazil continue their bid to be crowned kings for a record-extending sixth time against South Korea.

The superstar forward has been absent for Brazil since spraining his ankle in his team’s opening Group G win against Serbia last month and their supporters have been sweating on his fitness ever since.

Coach Tite said Neymar would be assessed in Brazil’s final pre-game training session but gave a heavy hint that the Paris Saint-Germain attacker would start.

“He’s going to train this afternoon and if he’s OK, he will play tomorrow,” Tite told reporters.

Neymar’s return would be a big boost as Brazil have scored just once since he fell foul to his ankle injury and lost Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus for the rest of the World Cup on the weekend.

Japan out to avoid early elimination

Japan was eliminated in the first knockout round four years ago in Russia when they threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Belgium with the last kick of the game.

Japanese defender Yugo Nagatomo said the defeat had been on his mind for the past four years and he is ready to wipe away the memory against Croatia.

“The past four years have been tough for me but I think we have all overcome that and improved as players,” he said.

“I have been playing for Japan for almost 15 years and as far as I can see, this is the strongest team we’ve ever had at the World Cup.”

Japan has made the round of 16 at six World Cups but it has never managed to progress to the quarterfinals.

Captain Maya Yoshida said the players have had to “sacrifice a lot over the past four years” and urged them to make it worth the effort.

“For Japanese football to move up a level, we have to become the kind of team that can consistently get through to the knockout rounds at the World Cup,” he said.

“We can’t be satisfied with what we’ve achieved — we have to write a new chapter in our history.”

Story Credit: news.com.au

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