Doha ∙ Japan proved once again that nothing is impossible in football! Japan defeated Spain in a thrilling match at the Khalifa Stadium to advance to the pre-quarters as group champions. Japan overthrew Spain by two goals to one in a close-fought match. Despite losing to Japan, Spain entered the prequarters as runners-up as Germany beat Costa Rica in their other group match. Japan’s opponents are Croatia, who are second in Group F, in the pre-quarters at the Al Janoub Stadium on December 5.
Japan, who was behind by one goal in the first half, defeated Spain by scoring two goals in three minutes after the start of the second half. Substitute Ritsu Doan (48th minute) and Ao Tanaka (52nd minute) scored for Japan. Spain’s goal was scored in the first half by Alvaro Morata (11th minute).
∙ The way the goals came
Spain’s first goal: From the first minute, Spain took the lead after Japan made the policy clear by attacking the Spanish goal. After a Spanish advance into the Japan box, the ball was saved by the Japan defense to Cesar Azpilicueta on the right wing outside the box. Morata rose and headed the ball into the net after the player lifted the cross into the box. Score 1–0
JAPAN EQUALIZED GOAL: Despite trailing in possession in the first half, Japan were rewarded in the second half as they rattled Spain at every opportunity. Japan took the lead in the third minute of the second half. Japan’s first goal was born from Spain’s defense. Ritsu Doan scored for Japan after replacing Take Kubo in the 46th minute. Doan, who received the ball close to the box from a mistake by the Spanish defense, took two steps forward and fired a blistering shot into the net, giving the Spanish goalkeeper no chance. Score 1–1.
Japan’s second goal: Japan took the lead before the equalizer came from the gallery. Ao Tanaka was the target this time. Japan’s move to the second goal was started by substitute player Doan who scored the first goal. Doan extended the ball parallel to the post and Mitoma hit the line in front of the post. Tanaka ran and hit the ball into the net. The referee initially denied the goal on the assumption that the ball had gone out, but after checking with the help of ‘Warri’, the goal was allowed. Score 2–0.
∙ Spain ruled the first half
Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in the 11th minute after shocking Japan who attacked the Spanish goal from the first minute of the match. Morata’s goal was a header from Cesar Azpilicueta’s pass. As usual, in the first half, where Spain dominated the ball and passing, Japan, who filled the field without flinching, made Spain tremble from time to time.
Spain beat Costa Rica by seven goals in the first match and drew with Germany in the second match. Japan, on the other hand, got off to a shocking start by beating Germany in the first match but lost to Costa Rica in the second match. The Japan coach made five changes to the team that lost to Costa Rica in the last match. Spain, on the other hand, made five changes to the team that drew with Germany.
English Summary: Japan vs Spain FIFA World Cup 2022 Match, Live Score