On Monday, Japan and Croatia will square off at Al Janoub Stadium in a match for a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Japan shocked the status quo by winning Group E, beating out previous winners Spain and Germany. After a thrilling 2-1 comeback victory over Spain in their final group stage match, the Blue Samurai advanced to the round of 16.
In the 11th minute, the 2010 world champions took the lead thanks to a header from Alvaro Morata. But Hajiye Moriyasu’s team came out strong in the second half, scoring twice in the first three minutes to completely flip the script on the bunch.
Ao Tanaka gave Japan the lead in the 51st minute with a disputed goal that was initially disallowed before the VAR’s intervention, but Ritsu Doan equalized three minutes after coming on.
With the victory, they joined an elite club as only the third team in World Cup history to come back from a halftime deficit and win two games.
In their final group-stage encounter, Croatia held a Belgium team full of international stars to a scoreless tie.
While not very impressive, the 2018 runners-up nonetheless managed to finish second in Group F, behind Morocco’s unexpected victory.
They finished the group stage with a perfect 3-0 record after winning one game, drawing one game, and losing one game to Belgium.
The victor will move on to the quarterfinals, where they will face either Brazil or South Korea.
Japan vs Croatia Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- In this World Cup, our two teams will be meeting for the third time. As members of Group F in 2006, they faced off against one another and ultimately played to a scoreless draw before being eliminated. In 1998, when both teams were making their World Cup debuts, they met in Group H, where Croatia emerged victorious, 1-0.
- For the first time ever, Japan is aiming to get to the World Cup quarterfinals.
- Since their 3-0 loss to Austria in the UEFA Nations League, Croatia has won nine consecutive games.
- Substitutes have scored all four of Japan’s goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup (three goals and one assist).
- Croatia has reached the semifinals in each of the two previous tournaments in which they advanced past the group round.
- In three of their last four World Cup knockout games, Croatia has trailed before coming back to win in extra time.
Japan vs Croatia Prediction
Although they were considered an underdog heading into Qatar, the 2018 runner-up Croatian national team has failed to impress. Zlatko Dalic’s squad is currently ranked 12th in the world, but they have plenty of players capable of competing at the highest level.
The Japanese team has been one of the tournament’s biggest surprises. Their two wins over European powerhouses Spain and Germany prove that Asians are no pushovers. All four of the Blue Samurai’s goals in this tournament have come in the second half, proving that they are masters of the late-game comeback.
This quality may be useful in a matchup with the Croatian national team, who are experts at surviving in elimination matches. However, previous games of this type have ended with few goals scored.
We anticipate a scoreless draw after 90 minutes and a Croatian triumph in the ensuing extra session.
The score will end 1-1 between Japan and Croatia, according to our forecast (1-2 after extra time)
Japan vs Croatia Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result Draw (Croatia to win after extra time)
Tip 2: Expect goals from both sides.
Tip 3: Bet on fewer than 2.5 goals.
Tip 4: a tied score at the break is a respectable performance.
Fifth and most important recommendation: the second half typically has the most points scored.