Tomiyasu suffers penalty knockout but Martinelli marches on

After recovering from his hamstring injury and playing only 20 minutes in Japan’s last Group win over Spain, the Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu felt ready to start against Croatia in the Last 16 knockout game.

Tomi played all 120 minutes after it ended 1-1 at full-time, and in extra time it seemed like it was inevitable that we would see our first penalty shootout of the competition.

Maybe it was nerves or simply inexperience, but the plucky Japanese missed their first 2 spot kicks, while Croatia scored both, and it was just too much for them to come back from that and they lost 3-1 on penalties. But they will leave with their heads held high and deserve a hero’s return for their incredible performances.

So, Tomi will now join up with Arteta’s squad in Dubai, but the young Gabriel Martinelli got his second appearance of the games as he played out the last 20 minutes of Brazil’s 4-1 win over Korea. He is certainly getting noticed for his growing skills…

So Gabriel joins Saka and Ramsdale in the quarter finals, and tonight we can watch Granit Xhaka as SWitzerland take on Ronaldo’s Portugal in what should prove a very feisty but intriguing game.

Come on Granit!


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  1. Croatia were far from impressive against Japan who can count themselves unlucky not to win before the penalty kick lottery.That said, in Gvardiol, they have a terrific CB and Perisic once again produced the goods when it mattered.Against Brazil they will be obliged to play on the counter attack but they simply do not have the pace and skill up front to cause an upset in my opinion.

    1. Yes Japan was very unlucky, I actually have them as toast of the tournament, they gave it everything.

      Croatia will not pass the next hurdle, with a little more experience Japan would have wrapped up the match against them pretty early, have seen better Croatian team.

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