Japan beat the Spanish team by 2 to 1, this Thursday (1st), at the Khalifa stadium, and secured the first place in Group E of the World Cup in Qatar, leaving the powerful Germany out of the World Cup.
Now, Japan will face Croatia in the round of 16.
Spain, which started the Cup scaring the world with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, was even eliminated for three minutes -the time that the Costa Ricans’ advantage over the Germans lasted in the other match-, but held on to second place and will now face Morocco.
Japan v Spain: photos from the match in Group E of the Cup
Differently from the first game, the Spaniards started the confrontation with Japan betting more on the ball touch than on the speed to reach the attack.
With Japan it was the opposite. As it was rare to have possession of the ball, the way was to go with everything when I had a chance. And that’s what happened in the 8th minute, when Morita opened up for Ito on the left, inside the area, and he crossed the ball outside.
The Spanish exchange was cruel. In the 11th minute, in a cross by Nico Willians from the right, Morata went higher than the Japanese defense and headed to the back of the net.
The result complicated Japan, since in the other match Germany was already 1-0 over Costa Rica and took second place in the group.
Spain, on the other hand, maintained their posture and continued to play the ball, without creating much. The first half ended with 565 passes exchanged by the Spaniards against 116 by Japan and a ball possession of 82%.
In the second half, the script changed completely. The Japanese went all-or-nothing and managed an incredible comeback in five minutes. First with a goal by Doan, in the 3rd minute, taking advantage of a wrong exit by the Spanish defense. Two minutes later, in a controversial move, Tanaka scored the second.
In the bid, Doan went down on the right, invaded the area and crossed the ball. Mitoma stretched himself out and, on top of the bottom line, passed the ball into the small area to Tanaka, who only diverted it towards the goal between the defenders.
Play was stopped for three minutes until VAR could verify that the ball had gone completely before Mitoma played into the penalty area. The conclusion was that the ball was in play and the goal was confirmed.
The goal rocked the Spanish team, which had to go out of its way and go all out in search of the equalizing goal. To complicate matters, in the other game, Costa Rica also achieved a surprising comeback and, in addition to the Germans, also took Spain’s place in the round of 16.
But that panorama lasted only three minutes, as Germany managed the tie. Even so, Spain was still trying to guarantee itself not to be the victim of a historic underdog. However, he maintained possession of the ball, but without endangering Gonda’s goal.
As time went by, Spain only accumulated possession of the ball. Close to 40 minutes, it was already at 82%. But before the Spanish youth began to feel the brunt, Germany again took the lead in the other game, which guaranteed coach Luis Enrique’s team in the round of 16, even in the face of defeat by a surprising Japan.
Japan v Spain: photos of the fans at the World Cup match
JAPO 2 X 1 SPAIN
Gonda; Itakura, Yoshida and Taniguchi; Ito, Morita, Tanaka (Wataru Kendo) and Nagatomo (Kaoru Mitoma); Kamada (Takehiro Tomiyasu), Kubo (Ritsu Doan) and Maeda (Takuma Asano). T.: Hajime Moriyasu.
Unai Simn; Azpilicueta (Dani Carvajal), Rodri, Pau Torres and Balde (Jordi Alba); Busquets, Gavi (Ansu Fati) and Pedri; Nico Williams (Ferrn Torres), Dani Olmo and Morata (Marco Asensio). T.: Luis Enrique.
goals: lvaro Morata, at 11″ of T1 (Spain). Ritsu Doan, at 3′ of T2, Ao Tanaka, at 8′ of T2 (Japan)
Cardsyellow: Ko Itakura (Japan), Shogo Taniguchi (Japan), Maya Yoshida (Japan).