The first game of the day between Croatia and Japan was evenly matched and didn’t disappoint, ending in a penalty shootout win for the Croatians.
It was a dramatic finish that was ultimately decided by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who blocked three of Japan’s four kicks in the shootout after the match ended 1-1.
Daizen Maeda put Japan on the board first just before halftime, finishing off a chaotic sequence in the box. Croatia’s Ivan Perisic leveled it at 1-1 in the 55th minute with a brilliant header into the bottom corner of the net. That score remained through regulation and extra time, and the match was decided on penalties.
Croatia advances to face the winner of the Brazil vs. South Korea match later in the day.
2 p.m. ET, Fox
While the first game of the day may be the most even matchup so far, this is the most lopsided one. South Korea would get you a heck of a return if it was to win in regulation but that’s probably not going to happen. We’re inclined to go with the under at -110 even though Neymar has been cleared to play.