This is the game that most of think gets Croatia back on the road to the second round. It’s undeniably hard to open your Cup adventure against Brazil. A 1-0 loss, while respectable, still nets you no points. For good team, which I think Croatia is, it means you have to win both remaining games.

Today Croatia is outfitted with their in their red and white checkered jerseys, a style that always makes me think that after the game they could spread them out and have a picnic. I don’t find it hugely attractive, but I’m not exactly the Mr. Blackwell of soccer fashion either.

Japan with some early pressure, free kicks and corner kicks. Now it reverses and Croatia is applying the pressure.

PK in the 20th minute. Japanese defender goes for the ball, hits the guy. Bummer, but that’s the way it goes. Saved! Not a good kick, obviously, but a decent save too.

Croatia off the bar in the 28th.

Yellow to Kovac of Croatia in the 32. No way was that a yellow. Bad call.

Ball bounces right past the Japanese keeper for a corner, but admittedly it did take a weird hop.

Big shot for Japan in the 35th well saved.

Yellow to the Japanese keeper for delay.

0-0 at half.

No blogging second half. Both sides got some chances, but neither could capitalize. final: 0-0.