Maya Yoshida and Japan knocked out of the World Cup on penalties
Maya Yoshida’s Japan have been knocked out of the World Cup after losing 3-1 to Croatia on penalties in the round of 16. The match went to spot-kicks after an edgy contest which ended 1-1 after extra time.
Schalke’s number four started against Croatia as he did against Germany, Costa Rica and Spain and he played for the full 120 minutes in the round of 16 clash at the Al Janoub Stadium. The defender picked up his first assist of the tournament when he set up Daizen Maeda (Celtic) for Japan’s opener in the 44th minute.
Croatia, however, got themselves back into the contest courtesy of an Ivan Perisic (Tottenham) header in the 55th minute. A tight contest ensued and the game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and went into extra time.
This meant that the tie had to be settled from twelve yards and it was the 2018 runners-up who held their nerve. Croatia scored three of their four spot-kicks, whilst Japan only managed to convert one of theirs. Yoshida took Japan’s fourth penalty but it was saved by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.