FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Japan beat Spain 2-1 to advance to round of 162022-12-02 14:44
Japan beat Spain 2-1 in Group E of the World Cup on Thursday , with both teams advancing to the round of 16 .
Japan topped the standings and will next face Croatia , while Spain tied Germany with four points and advanced on goal difference to face Morocco.
Striker Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in the 12th minute when he headed home his third goal in three World Cup appearances.
Three minutes into the second half, winger Dogan scored from outside the box Japan equalized in the 51st minute with midfielder Tanaka scoring the winning goal in the 51st minute, which was confirmed after a lengthy VAR check.
A match that nearly cost Spain a knockout spot
A relaxed Enrique admitted that before the game he considered tactically trying to finish second in this group to avoid Brazil and secure an "easier" route to the final.
It was an accident, but it looks like those plans have been tossed in the trash, with a superb first-half display that has football purists salivating.
The Spaniard stepped into the channels at half-time with 83 per cent possession and 562 passes to their tired opponent's 127.
What Enrique didn't expect was that Blue Warriors coach Shou Anji talked about the life of the team -- and the two substitutions again.
It was a game that almost cost Spain a knockout spot in Qatar.
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