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Shay Given Raises Possibility Of Key Change In World Cup After Croatia-Japan

Shay Given Raises Possibility Of Key Change In World Cup After Croatia-Japan
By Michael Bolton Updated
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Shay Given has called for extra-time to be scrapped in future games in this World Cup after Croatia defeated Japan via penalty-shoot out.

Shay Given was speaking as the drama in Qatar continued as this year's tournament had it's first game go to a extra time and a penalty-shoot-out, with Croatia prevailing 3-1 after goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

For Japan, it is the end of the road after a memorable tournament that included shock wins over Germany and Spain to qualify from the group of death in the tournament, and will no doubt come back stronger in four years time.

Given Calls For Change

The game was far from a classic, as both sides looked to be experiencing fatigue from a tournament that has been compacted into four weeks of football.


After Japan went one nil up through Daizen Maeda, Croatia grew into the game and scored a deserved second-half equaliser from Ivan Peresic to draw Croatia level.

Despite Croatia playing the more attractive football, neither side looking like scoring a winner as penalties looked certain from the moment extra-time got underway. The fatigue in both sides was also beginning to show, with key players looking off-form.

Luka Modric came off in the 99th minute, despite being a prime candidate to take a penalty, while Perisic and Mateo Kovavic also replaced in extra-time to many people's surprise.


While there is no doubting their quality, Croatia have an aging squad that somehow continue to defy expectations and deliver in the biggest moments to see them through. Two hours of football however, with just four days to recover until they take on the winners of Brazil and South Korea, is far from ideal preparation.

Speaking on RTÉ, Shay Given raised the idea of bringing the game straight to penalties after the 90 minutes is up. The winter World Cup has meant there has been a congested season with players playing three games a week prior to the tournament, with no rest between games.

"My only argument would be because it's a condensed Premier League and around the world wherever players are playing because the World Cup is in the winter time.

These games are coming thick and fast and is there an argument for not having any extra-time and going straight to penalties? We have to get a winner somehow, so there has to be some way to decide who's the winner at the end.

But did we need the extra 30 minutes? Did we see that much quality to justify playing out those 30 minutes? Probably not."

Given the lack of quality in extra-time, Given's argument could be justified, particularly when players are experiencing such a quick turn around in such a short space of time.


SEE ALSO: Shay Given Explains Mat Ryan Will Be Having 'Sleepless Nights Over Mistake 

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