FIFA World Cup: Japan stun Spain 2-1 to take top spot in Group E

FIFA World Cup: Japan stun Spain 2-1 to take top spot in Group E

FIFA World Cup: Japan stun Spain 2-1 to take top spot in Group E

Written by Zulfick Farzan

02 Dec, 2022 | 4:35 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Japan came from behind to seize another shock victory over a European superpower, as second-half goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka downed Spain and sent Germany crashing out of the 2022 World Cup.

Victory saw the Japanese top Group E to book a Round-of-16 date with Group F runners-up Croatia, while La Roja will face Morocco in the first knockout stage.

But there was more than a hint of controversy about Japan's second goal, with replays appearing to show Kaoru Mitoma had taken the ball over the byline before cutting it back for Tanaka to tap home.

After a lengthy referral to VAR, the goal was surprisingly awarded and a dispirited Spain could not find an equalizer.

La Roja were in cruise control at the break after Alvaro Morata headed home Cesar Azpilicueta's cross for his third goal in three group games.

But half-time substitute Doan transformed the momentum two minutes after coming on when he seized on a loose pass from Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon and drilled home the equalizer, before Tanaka's close-range strike earned Japan another stunning win, after upsetting Germany in their opener.    

 

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