Qatar 2022: First penalty shootout of tournament sees Croatia progress to quarters
FIFA World Cup Croatia Japan

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has seen its first penalty shootout in the knockout stages as Japan and Croatia had to settle their scores from the spot.

Croatia emerged as the victors after a tense game which saw both sides end the 90 minutes of regulation time and the 30 minutes of extra time with one goal apiece.

Japan went ahead in the 43rd minute after sitting back and letting Croatia have the ball for most of the game. Croatia fought back to score in the second half through Ivan Perisic, whose threat was the biggest for the Europeans in the game.

From then on it was a battle of wills and Japan, who had seen off Germany and Spain in their group, played a good game to hold off Zlatko Dalic's men for the rest of the game in regulation time. The Samurai Blue still had plenty of running in their legs during the extra time, but the experience of the Croatians shone through as they staved off every Japan attack to force a penalty shootout.

Tactical masterclass from Croatia

Japan were expected to give Croatia a run for their money just like they did Spain and Germany in Group E. Unlike against their group opponents, they went ahead in this game after sticking to their tactic to hit the Croatians on the break.

Junya Ito picked up the second ball after a poor Luka Modric free kick to start a Japan counter attack. A sequence then follows which ended up in the Croatians conceding a corner. Daizen Maeda put the ball in the back of the net after Maya Yoshida flicked on the header from Ritsu Doan's cross into the box.

The Samurai Blue took the lead into half time, but the Croatians came out with renewed vigour in the second half. Ten minutes into the restart, Tottenham Hotspur man Ivan Perisic headed in low and hard into the bottom corner following a cross from Dejan Lovren. They were unable to find anything to break the tie for the rest of the game, however.

It took a hat-trick of saves from Dominik Livaković to send Japan out and Croatia through to the quarter final, as they look to better their finish from 2018 where they lost to France in the final.

However, Brazil or South Korea stands in their way as their quarter final opponents and it will take more than heart to brush either of these sides away in the next round.