Croatia, Japan, impress with hopes for the quarterfinals

Croatia, Japan, impress with hopes for the quarterfinals

Croatia and Japan meets in a match that gives them the chance to be a step closer for the title, as they face each other in the knockout stage. These two teams will meet in December 5, 20-22, at 11:00 PM (GMT+8). Croatia are the runners-up last edition, so it is not surprising how they managed to progress so much. Japan on the other hand are known to be giant killers in the World Cup. Just recently, they were able to enter the knockout stage after they defeated Germany. Two impressive teams meeting in a win-or-go home match, who between them will advance in the quarterfinals?

This meeting will be the third time these two teams meet in the World Cup, with the first and second were in 1998 and 2006. Between these two teams, Croatia has the advantage as they won their match in 1998. On the other hand, their other game ended in a goalless draw in 2006. Record-wise, Croatia has better record than Japan as they are currently unbeaten from their last nine international matches. Additionally, from their previous two matches, they made it to the semifinals. Japan on the other hand is eyeing to finally reach the quarterfinals for the first time in their history. Although they were able to go past the group stage, they have not made it to the quarterfinals.

Croatia aims to finally meet the expectations of them

World Cup: Croatia
Photo courtesy of HNS

Croatia have been impressive since their last two World Cup bid, reaching the semifinals. In fact, in 2018, they managed to even reach the finals, though they ended up as runners-up to France. In Qatar, they are considered as underdogs, but managed to draw their match versus a star-studded Belgium, earning them a spot in the knockout round. Although they failed to impress in the group stage, they are lucky to have enough to qualify in the next round. Since they ended their match against Belgium in draw, that was they extended their run to nine unbeaten record. They are considered as the 12th-highest rank, according to FIFA rankings.

Borna Sosa remains to be doubtful in this match as he caught fever. Josip Stanisic will surely miss this match, following a muscular problem he is experiencing. With these two’s absence, Croatia’s side choose other options as they are not short when it comes to attack.

Japan will prove why they deserve their spot

World Cup; Japan

Japan’s win over Germany speaks about their strength as a team as Germany is one of the most powerful teams in the tournament. However, them, upsetting giants teams is no longer new as they did it in the past already. In their group stage, they managed to win against Germany and Spain, but they lost to Costa Rica, a surprising loss. This just proves that Japan can beat anybody, but can also lose to anybody. Since they were able to beat Spain and Germany, they also stand a chance against Croatia because those two teams are much stronger than Croatia.

Ko Itakura picked up his second yellow card on their last game, which means that he will be suspended in this game. With his unavailability, Takehiro Tomiyasu may play in his behalf. Moreover, Takefusa Kubo is a fresh doubt for Japan as he is experiencing muscular discomfort.


Croatia (1.5)
Odds: 0.90

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