Japan kicked off their campaign with a historic 2-1 win over Germany in their opener, before suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, and then defeated Spain 2-1 in their final group match.
Japan will take on Croatia at the Al Janoub Stadium on Monday, aiming to enter the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup. The Asian outfit qualified for the last-16 stage courtesy of securing top spot in Group E after getting the better of Germany and Spain. Croatia, meanwhile, finished second in Group F, with five points to their name in three outings. Japan kicked off their campaign with a historic 2-1 win over Germany in their opener, before suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, and then defeated Spain 2-1 in their final group match. The Checkers, on the other hand, started off with a goalless draw against Morocco, before thrashing Canada 4-1 and then shared the spoils against Belgium.
— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵 (@jfa_samuraiblue) December 4, 2022
Japan have been the giant killers in this edition of the tournament having come from behind to get the better of Spain and Germany. In their last outing, Alvaro Morata gave an early lead to La Roja, but Japan came out all guns blazing in the second half and netted twice through substitute Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka. Any team that beats the 2010 and 2014 world champions in one tournament no doubt deserves a place in the knockouts. The Samurai Blue will be aiming to enter the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in their history.
Croatia, on the other hand, had finished runner-ups in the last edition of the tournament in Russia, four years ago. Meanwhile, the Checkers were lucky to earn a point against the Red Devils in their last outing because Romelu Lukaku missed a string of sitters. If the Inter Milan striker had converted any one of those, the Checkered one could very well have been heading out of the competition, but the 29-year-old’s profligacy worked in their favour to the extreme. Zlatko Dalic’s side have been solid at the back, having conceded just one goal in the three games thus far. Nevertheless, the Checkered Ones now come into the last-16 clash on a nine-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
Japan defender ko Itakura picked up his second yellow card of the World Cup in the win against Spain, meanwhile he will be suspended for Monday’s game. Therefore, Takehiro Tomiyasu should come into the back-three alongside Maya Yoshida and Tanuguchi. Meanwhile, right back Hiroki Sakai has rejoined training and could be fit for the bench. But Real Sociedad midfielder Takefusa Kubo is a fresh doubt due to a muscular problem. As for Croatia, left-back Borna is doubtful because of fever, while fellow defender Josip Stanisic is sidelined with a muscular injury. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad is fit and ready to go.
Japan probable starting lineup: Gonda, Tomiyasu, Taniguchi, Yoshida, Ito, Morita, Tanaka, Nagatomo, Doan, Maeda, Kamada
Croatia probable starting lineup: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Barisic, Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric, Kramaric, Livaja, Perisic
|Costa Rica||0-1 (L)|
|Saudi Arabia||0-1 (W)|
|Last 2 match (all competitions)||Results|
|Japan draw Croatia||0-0|
|Croatia beat Japan||0-1|
The FIFA World Cup match between Japan and Croatia will take place at Al Janoub Stadium on Monday at 8:30 pm IST.
|Japan vs Croatia||Key Details|
|Venue||Al Janoub Stadium|
|Kickoff time in India||8:30 pm|
|Kickoff time in Japan||12:00 am (Tuesday)|
|Kickoff time in Croatia||4:00 pm|
|Kickoff time in Qatar||6:00 pm|
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar can be seen on Sports18 – 1 SD & HD – in India. Sports 18 will be telecasting the games on the regular and HD Channels. Besides, Viacom18 Sports announced that Jio Cinema will live-stream all the World Cup games. Besides, the match between Japan and Croatia can be seen on Abema TV and Fuki TV in Japan; and HRT network in Croatia.