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World Cup Open Thread - Japan vs Croatia and Brazil vs South Korea

Japan has already knocked off bigger European powers, can they continue this run?

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Japan v Croatia: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Japan vs Croatia 9 a.m. Fox and Telemundo

The Samurai Blue vs the Checkered Ones are the first match in today’s Round of Sixteen matches. Japan won Group E with six points, beating two European powers. Their only loss was a 0-1 result with Costa Rica. Japan opened group play coming from behind to knock off Germany 2-1. After the loss against Los Ticos, Japan again came from behind to beat Spain 2-1.

Croatia finished second in Group F behind Morocco and above Belgium and Canada. Croatia is tough to score on. They had a pair od 0-0 draws with Morocco and Belgium with a 4-1 beatdown of Canada sandwiched in between.

Starting XI:

Japan XI: Gonda; Taniguchi, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Morita, Endo; Ito, Kamada, Doan; Maeda.

Croatia XI: Livakovic; Juranovic, Gvardiol, Lovren, Barisic; Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric; Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic.

Brazil vs South Korea 1 p.m. Fox and Telemundo

Historic South American team facing another Asian federation side. Brazil won Group G with six points. The Koreans finished second in Group H with four points. Brazil won their first two group games with a 2-0 win over Serbia and a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. They cruised through the third match and lost to Cameroon 1-0. Brazil has so much talent but the big question for them is Neymar. He missed the last two games and is reported to be ready to play.

South Korea drew 0-0 with Uruguay, lost 2-3 with Ghana and then scored a 91st minute goal to beat Portugal. Can the “Tigers of Asia” take on the most historic team?

Starting XI:

Brazil: Alisson; Eder Militao, Thiago Silva (captain), Marquinhos, Danilo, Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta, Neymar, Vinicius Jr., Raphinha, Richarlison.

South Korea: Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su, Lee Jae-sung, Jung Woo-young, Jeong Woo-yeong, Hwang In-beom, Son Heung-min (captain), Hwang Hee-chan, Cho Gue-sung.

Neymar is back and starting.