JAKARTA - Dominik Livakovic became Croatian hero when he eliminated Japan in the last 16 of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Monday, December 5. The Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper dismissed the Japanese player's execution.
Not once, but three times! He also followed in the footsteps of his senior, Danijel Subasic.
Please note, Subasic also cut off three penalties as Croatia beat Denmark in the last 16 of Russia's 2018 World Cup.
"That's what we used to do in Croatia. You could see it four years ago," said Livakovic, regarding his expertise in lifting penalties.
"I continued my predecessor tradition and I put it on the analysis we did against penalty takers," he said.
Livakovic admits that they prefer to end the game in normal time. The reason is, there are too many risks if the winner has to be decided on penalties.
Luckily for Croatia, this penalty shootout returned to their side. Livakovic said it was because they had done an analysis before the game.
"This time the penalty worked well for us. I don't think it's difficult to save. We did an analysis before this match," he said.
Meanwhile, Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic praised his simple goalkeeper. He also called Livakovic's expertise not surprising.
"We have a fantastic goalkeeper, he is unbeaten," Dalic said.
"When we started the penalty shootout, I was very confident. He was great at training yesterday and I'm sure he will show it again today. He proved to be like Subasic in Russia, history continues to repeat itself," he concluded.
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