Croatia. the 2018 World Cup runner-up, will aim for successive semifinal qualification when it faces juggernaut Brazil in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal on December 9th at the Education city stadium.
With three wins out of three World Cup penalty shootouts, the Vatreni are the only team alongside Germany (4/4) to have played more than one shootout and still hold a 100 per cent record.
If it wins another shootout, Croatia will be the second team to win four consecutive shootout after Germany.
Here are all the penalty shootouts Croatia has been part of:
2018, Round of 16 vs Denmark:
In the six World Cups that Croatia has participated (1998, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2018 and 2022), its first ever penalty shootout encounter came in Russia. The round of 16 match against Denmark ended 1-1, after an explosive start to the match with Mathias Jorgensen and Mario Mandzukic scoring in the opening five minutes of the match. In the 114th minute, Croatia was awarded a penalty for a foul on Ante Rebic only for Kasper Schmeichel to deny Luka Mordic from the spot.
However, in the penalty shootouts, despite another two saves from Schmeichel, Denmark missed three -as Daniel Subasic made three excellent saves, and Ivan Rakitic hit the last penalty low into the bottom right-hand corner to win the match.
2018, Quarterfinal vs Russia:
Croatia didn’t have to wait long for another penalty shootout. It was up against hos Russia in the quarterfinal and chaos ensured. At the end of regulation 90 minutes, the match ended 1-1 with Denis Cherycshev and Andrej Kramaric among goals. The match entered extra time. Croatia took the lead in the 110th minute with Domagoj Vida’s header before Mario Fernandes cancelled it for the host in the dying minutes of the extra time.
Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive spot-kick to give Croatia a 4-3 win in the shootout after Fyodor Smolov and Mario Fernandes squandered their chances from the spot for the home nation.
2022, Round of 16 vs Japan
Just before halftime, Japan took the lead at the Al Janoub Stadium when Daizen Maeda pounced after a long free kick into the opposing penalty box. Ivan Perisic’s header in the 55th minute, helped Croatia equalise, setting up a tense final 30 minutes. Neither team was able to win in regulation time or extra time. The match moved into penalty shootouts.
Dominik Livakovic broke Japanese hearts with three outstanding saves in the shootouts. Croatia qualified for the quarterfinals after posting a 3-1 win in the shootouts.
Get all the results for the FIFA World Cup 2022 here: Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers
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