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World Cup 2022, Day 16: Round of 16 knockout games continue

Japan will face Croatia before Brazil face South Korea on the third day of knockout round matches at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The third day of the knockout phase of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off with two elimination matches scheduled for the 16th day of the tournament on December 5, 2022:

  • Japan vs Croatia (Al Janoub Stadium, 18:00/15:00 GMT)
  • Brazil vs South Korea (Stadium 974, 22:00/19:00 GMT)
Japanese fans celebrate outside the stadium after their match against Spain, which saw the Japanese side qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup tournament [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Japan vs Croatia

During the upset World Cup in Qatar, Japan toppled two football powerhouses in the group stage – crippling Germany and later Spain – and now set its sights on a shoddy Croatian squad, the 2018 World Cup runners-up, who have never lost a first match in the knockout stage.

Croatia, tournament favorites who have already scored two draws and a win to secure their spot in the Round of 16, will have to contain the fast and devastating pace of the Samurai Blue on Monday night.

The Croatian Mateo Kovacic In Action With The Belgian Yannick Carrasco
Mateo Kovacic (center) of Croatia in action against Belgium at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar, on 1 December 2022 [Stephane Mahe/Reuters] (Reuters)

Japanese central defender Kou Itakura has been suspended after two yellow cards. It could be the last game of his career for Croatian skipper and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric if the small but mighty Adriatic nation fails to overpower unpredictable Japan.

The two teams played each other twice at the World Cup. Croatia slipped past Japan 1-0 in the group stage of the 1998 World Cup; they later retired in 2006.

Brazil vs South Korea

Speaking of adversity, South Korea, a tournament wildcard and on their way to a staggering 2-1 victory over Portugal, finds their backs against the wall in a knockout round for the first time in 12 years in a bid to win a five-time World Cup champion to sink. Brazil.

Neymar
Neymar of Brazil at Lusail Stadium in Qatar on November 24, 2022 [File: Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

However, everything is on the line for the top-ranked Brazilian side who reached the last 16 with wins over Serbia and Switzerland.

Brazil get a boost of firepower from Neymar, who was sidelined for two games after picking up an ankle injury against Serbia; the team struggled without him in their 1–0 defeat to Cameroon.

Neymar practiced with the team in Qatar on Saturday and Sunday.

Monday’s game at Stadium 974 will be the first World Cup match between the two sides, though Brazil have beaten the Taeguk Warriors in six of their seven friendlies – their most recent victory coming in a 5-1 victory in June.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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