Japan weren't expected to progress to the World Cup's last 16, let alone top a group also packing European heavyweights Spain and Germany. But the Blue Samurai have captured the hearts of the world thanks to impressive displays on the pitch, and their good sportsmanship off it. However, Croatia are looking to end this Cinderella story before another remarkable chapter is written.
Croatia’s route through the group stage was far from smooth, and truthfully they were lucky to squeak through ahead of Belgium. But as runners-up at World Cup 2018, they know how to win knockout games. On paper, this might seem like one of the least glamorous matchups of the round of 16. But anybody who’s been paying attention to the World Cup 2022 will know that this isn’t a game to miss. And we’ll show you how to watch a Japan vs Croatia live stream online from anywhere in the world.
Plus, make sure you don’t miss a moment of the World Cup by checking out our full how to watch World Cup 2022 live streams hub.
How to watch Japan vs Croatia anywhere
The Japan vs Croatia live stream will be shown on many different channels across the world. But what if you're not in your home country and want to watch it on your usual service?
The answer is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN will let you tune into your home coverage from wherever you are — meaning that if you're abroad, you can use one of the best VPN services to watch the games live as if you were in your lounge.
Our favorite right now is ExpressVPN, thanks to its combination of superb speed, great customer service and excellent device support. It also offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, so you could check it out without having to sign up long-term.
Speed, security and simplicity combine to make ExpressVPN our favorite VPN service. In our testing, we were impressed by its fast connection times and by its ability to access more than 3,000 services in 160 locations across 94 countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is another bonus.
Using a VPN is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.
2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.K. and want to view a U.S. service, you'd select U.S. from the list.
3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to Sling or another service and watch the game.
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Japan vs Croatia live streams by country
How to watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream in the US
Soccer fans in the U.S. can watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream on FOX and the FOX website with a valid login, if your local FOX affiliate is showing the match. FOX is included with all cable packages or with one of our best TV antenna picks.
Another option would be Sling TV: the Sling Blue package costs just $40 per month and comes with more than 30 channels including FOX (provided you're in an area with a local Fox affiliate). Best of all, right now Sling is offering half off the first month, allowing you to watch the entire World Cup for just $20.
Or you could go for Fubo.TV. Its Pro Plan costs $70 per month but gives you 121 channels, including FOX (provided you have a local affiliate), plus lots more for sports fans to enjoy.
Spanish language coverage is available via Telemundo or Peacock. The first 12 games will be available to watch on a free account, but if you want to watch the full tournament you'll need a Peacock Premium subscription ($9.99/month).
If you already use those services but aren't in the U.S. right now, you can watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream by using a VPN such as ExpressVPN.
Sling TV offers two packages, both of which cost $40 a month. The Sling Blue plan comes with 30-plus channels, including NBC, NBCSN and USA. Plus, World Cup fans can stream the entire tournament on FS1 and FOX.
If you love sports, you might want to check out Fubo.TV. It's got FOX and FS1, a a 7-day free trial so you don't need to pay up front, and dozens of additional sports channels, including NBCSN and ESPN.
How to watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream in Canada
Canadians can watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream on TSN, the home of World Cup 2022 in Canada.
If you've cut the cord, you can sign up for TSN Direct for $19.99 per month or you can take an annual pass which works out at $16.66 per month. Plus, the service is open to all: you don't need to have TSN as part of an existing TV package.
If you live in Canada and already subscribe to TSN, but aren't at home right now, you can still watch a Japan vs Croatia live stream by using a quality VPN like ExpressVPN.
How to watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream in the UK
In the U.K., the France vs Poland live stream will be available to watch for free on BBC, or you can stream online via BBC iPlayer. You will need a valid U.K. TV license in order to watch the game on TV or via online streaming.
If you're not currently in the U.K. and have a valid TV license, you can still watch a France vs Poland live stream by using one of the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN.
How to watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream in Australia
Aussie soccer fans can watch the World Cup 2022 for free on SBS, including the Japan vs Croatia live stream. The free-to-air network is available on traditional TV or online by using SBS On-Demand.
Not in Australia right now? You can simply use a VPN to watch all the action on SBS as if you were back home. ExpressVPN is out top pick of the options out there.
How to watch the Japan vs Croatia live stream in New Zealand
Kiwis can access the Japan vs Croatia live stream via Sky Sport. This costs $60.98 NZD per month, or you could go for the Sky Sport Now service, which gives you just the Sport channels but for a reduced cost of $19.99/week, $39.99/month or $399/year.
Not at home in New Zealand right now? You can still follow every game of the World Cup 2022 by using one of the best VPN services, such as ExpressVPN.
Japan vs Croatia preview
World Cup 2022 has developed something of a reputation for upsets, and Japan are responsible for two of the biggest. A win over Germany in their opening Group E match was a remarkable result. But the side’s euphoria was quickly snuffed out when the Blue Samurai lost to Costa Rica in heart breaking fashion. Japan dominated by couldn’t find the cutting edge, and their opposition scored with pretty much their only chance of the game.
That defeat left Japan needing a result against pre-tournament favorites Spain. And while they went behind after just 11 minutes, a quickfire double at the start of the second half turned the game on its head and Japan earned themselves another famous victory. This not only secured Japan's qualification, but also saw them progress as group winners.
At this point, nobody should be writing Japan off. They may be underdogs, but they are scrappy and determined. Croatia will enter this game under no illusions that this is a difficult draw, but will surely lean on their experience as losing finalists at World Cup 2018. In that run to the final they overcame Argentina, England and Denmark, proving themselves a force on the international stage.
However, so far, the Vatreni haven’t been quite as convincing in Qatar. Goalless draws with Morocco and Belgium either side of a 4-1 thrashing of Canada, was enough to secure passage to the last 16. But Croatia will need to up their game if they are to repeat the achievements of four years ago. Having one of the best midfielders to ever play the game in the form of Luka Modrić will certainly help the side’s chances of a deep run. The Real Madrid playmaker is 37 years old, but he’s still as potent as ever and doesn’t look out of step in the slightest.
Japan vs Croatia could be one of the most dramatic encounters of this first set of knockout games. Both teams will fancy their chances of advancing, and we could be in for an intense match that goes the distance. You’ll want to tune in to the Japan vs Croatia live stream even if you’re a neutral viewer
Japan vs Croatia team news
Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu come into the starting fold for Japan due to Ko Itakura's suspension. But Hiroko Sakai misses out as he looks to return to full fitness, Takefusa Kubo is also side lined with a muscle injury. Ritsu Doan scored against Spain and start, whereas Ao Tanaka who got Japan's winner in that game must settle for a place on the bnech.
Croatia are relying on a core of older players with Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić and Marcelo Brozović all at least 30 years old. That could raise concerns about their longevity as the tournament wears on, but these veteran players haven't looked off the pace on the biggest stage in soccer and all three start against Japan. Croatia have faced few injury problems at World Cup 2022, but Borna Sosa is unavailable due to illness, while Josip Stanisic is out with a muscle problem.
Japan: Gonda, Taniguchi, Tomiyasu, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Morita, Endo, Ito, Kamada, Doan, Maeda.
Croatia: Livakovic, Juranovic, Gvardiol, Lovren, Barisic, Kovacic, Brozovic, Modric, Kramaric, Petkovic, Perisic.