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Breaking: Japan's Unforgettable Run at the FIFA World Cup Ended by Croatia in a 3-1 Penalty Shootout

After stunning upsets of Germany and Spain in Group E at the FIFA World Cup, the Samurai Blue were eliminated in the round of 16 for the fourth time.

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FIFA World Cup
Japan's Takehiro Tomiyasu (left) and Croatia's Ivan Perisic vie for the ball in the first half of a 2022 FIFA World Cup match at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Dylan Martinez/REUTERS)

Croatia, the 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up, kept alive its hopes of reaching the championship match again by beating Japan 3-1 in a penalty shootout in a round of 16 match in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on Monday night, December 5. The match started at 12 AM JST Tuesday.

Daizen Maeda scored for Japan in the 43rd minute. Croatia's Ivan Perisic tied it at 1-1 in the 55th minute. In thirty minutes of extra time neither team scored, forcing penalty kicks to determine the winner.

Next, Croatia faces the Brazil-South Korea winner in the quarterfinals on Friday, December 9 (Saturday 12 AM JST). Follow FIFA World Cup games as they happen.

Check back on SportsLook for more details on Samurai Blue's World Cup run.

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Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

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