Just like his predecessor Danijel Subašić, who saved three penalties in Croatia’s match against Denmark in the Round of 16 in 2018, Dominik Livaković repeated history today against Japan.
Livaković, who also hails from Zadar, like Subašić, was the hero today for Croatia as they beat Japan 3-1 on penalties after the score was locked at 1-1 after extra-time.
Livaković saved Japan’s first two penalties, diving the right way on both. It was the first time a keeper has saved the first two penalties in a shootout at a World Cup.
The Dinamo Zagreb no.1 then saved his third, leaving Mario Pašalić to slot his penalty home to send Croatia into the quarterfinals.
After the match Croatia’s hero had this to say to HRT:
– The feeling is great, first of all because of the team, the atmosphere was great. Thanks to the great fans who came. The Japanese pressed excellent at the start, they are well prepared, but so were we. We played 120 difficult minutes and won when it was most difficult.
Penalties saved? Of course, this is the best match of my life and one of my favourite moments in my career – said Dominik Livaković.
Luka Modrić also had praise for his keeper after the match.
– Congratulations to everyone, especially Liva who saved three penalties and sent us into the quarterfinals, as did the players who scored. He showed what a great goal keeper he is – Modrić said after the match.
The 27-year-old Livaković made his debut for Croatia against Chile back in 2017. Since then he has played 37 times for his country.