Japan fans with teary eyes as their team loses to Croatia in a Qatar World Cup round-of-16 match.© Twitter
Japan lost 3–1 to Croatia in a penalty shoot-out at the FIFA World Cup on Monday after regulation time in the round-of-16 match saw the teams ending at 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. Japan, who otherwise had a superb tournament as they defeated football giants like Germany and Spain in the group stage, failed to live up to the expectations as they missed three penalties at the end to lose the game.
The loss saw Japan’s bid to reach the last eight for the first time in their history coming to a crushing end. The players and the fans of the side failed it hard to control their emotions. They were all teary-eyed after the final result of the game.
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— JioCinema (@JioCinema) December 6, 2022
Croatia now face Brazil in the last eight.
Talking about five-time champions Brazil, Neymar returned from injury to help inspire the side to a 4-1 victory over South Korea on Monday as the favorites cruised through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. The world’s most expensive player had sat out his team’s last two matches with a sprained ankle suffered in their first game in Qatar, a 2-0 win over Serbia. But he came back for this last-16 tie as Tite’s team clicked into gear and delivered an ominous message to their rivals, at least before easing off in the second half. Vinicius Junior opened the scoring inside seven minutes before Neymar added another from the penalty spot to move to 76 goals for his country, leaving him just one away from equaling Pele’s all-time record tally.
(With AFP inputs)
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