Croatia and Brazil have been formidable throughout the group stages. After Croatia’s 3-1 win on penalties against Japan and Brazil’s dominant display against South Korea, they are set to go against each other in the quarter finals.
It was a tense match between Croatia and Japan as the latter dominated possession early in the game. Both sides have chances early on but neither side was able to convert them.
Towards the end of the first half with the score still at 0-0, Japan took the lead. In the 43rd minute, Doan delivered a superb ball into the box and Daizen Maeda slipped the ball past Croatia’s defense to score the first goal.
Croatia turned up the heat as they searched for an equalizer in the second half. In the 55th minute, Dejan Lovren launched a deep cross into the box and Ivan Perisic met it with a header into the goal. It was Perisic’s 6th World Cup goal for Croatia and first for this World Cup.
Both sides looked to close the game out in regulation time but were unable to finish their chances. The match went into penalties and Croatia came out on top winning 3-1.
In Brazil and South Korea match, Brazil turned on the style in the first half. In the 7th minute of the game, Vinicius Junior opened the scoring for Brazil. 4 minutes later, Brazil got a penalty when Kim Young-Gwon hacked at the ball and Neymar converted it with ease.
Marquinho and Thiago Silva combined well and Silva slipped through a wonderful ball for Richarlison to score his third of the tournament in the 29th minute. Brazil weren’t done and scored their 4th goal when Vinicius delivered a chipped cross that Paqueta caught and slotted past the hapless Korean defense.
South Korea got a consolation goal in the 76th minute when Paik Seung-ho hammered home from 25 yards but that was all the Koreans could get from the game.
With Brazil hitting form and Croatia proving difficult to beat, we can look forward to an exciting quarter-finals with a spot in semi-final awaiting the winner.