Japan 2 – 1 Spain

Japan disappointed at another historic World Cup when they scored a highly controversial goal to help them come back to beat Spain 2-1 and take the top spot of Group E, with Luis’ side. Enrique needed goal difference to secure second place against Germany.

Spain dominated the first half at Khalifa International Stadium and looked set to take the lead after Alvaro Morata headed home his third goal of the tournament (11).

Thursday’s thrilling finale as it happened

  • 7:10pm UK time – Gnabry gives Germany a quick start but they need Spain to beat Japan.
  • 19:11 – Morata scores the opener for Spain. Germany overtook Japan in the live group to take second place.
  • 20:04 – The team scored the equalizer for Japan. They are equal to Germany in points, goal difference, goals scored – but better in head-to-head record
  • 20:06 – Tanaka scores to give Japan a 2-1 lead over Spain. Japan topped the group, Spain second and Germany third and went through on goal difference.
  • 20:14 – Tejeda scores an equalizer for Costa Rica, who are third in the standings, behind Spain on goal difference. Germany sits last.
  • 8:26 p.m. – Vargas puts Costa Rica ahead of Germany – and it’s hard to believe Germany and Spain will go through with Japan at the top and Costa Rica in second.
  • 20:29 – Havertz almost immediately equalized for Germany. Germany is still at the bottom of the table but Spain is ahead of Costa Rica thanks to goal difference
  • 20:41 – Havertz puts Germany ahead. Germany moved up to third place in the group. They need Spain to equalize against the top team Japan and they will overtake Japan in terms of goals lost
  • 20:46 – Fullkrug adds another game for Germany – but that doesn’t change their situation. They still need the equalizer from Spain.

But that all changed phenomenally after half-time as substitute Ritsu Doan equalized with a powerful shot from the edge of the box (48) and Ao Tanaka completed the swing after a cut. Kaoru Mitoma’s shadow seems to have gone out to play (51).

A lengthy VAR check followed the goal, but that ruling was reasonably in Japan’s favor, leaving Spain, listless in the second half despite their previous dominance, to sweat. foul for their place in the round of 16.

Kaoru Mitoma passes teammate Ao Tanaka to score Japan's second goal against Spain
Kaoru Mitoma’s cut seemed to have worn off but VAR ruled in favor of Japan

At one point, when Costa Rica took the lead in a 2-4 loss to Germany, Spain were trailed by Hansi Flick’s side, but in the end they dominated on goal difference thanks to a 7 win. -0 against Costa Rica in their match. opening match, ensuring they reached the knockout round against the Germans.

Spain will now face Morocco in the round of 16, while Japan, who also came from behind to beat Germany but lost to Costa Rica in a remarkable group stage campaign, will face Croatia.

Full match report to follow…

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