Japan stun Spain 2-1, knock Germany out of the World Cup

Japan had surprised Germany as soon as on this World Cup. They did it once more on Friday – this time, additionally upsetting Spain within the course of. They usually did it on the similar venue as properly – the Khalifa Worldwide Stadium.

In some of the dramatic evenings in World Cup historical past, the Asian giants staged an unbelievable second-half comeback beat the 2010 world champions Spain 2-1 and, within the course of, knockout the 2014 world champions Germany, who exit the World Cup within the group stage for second time in a row.

As fortunes of all 4 groups in Group E swung from one excessive to a different, Japan topped the pool with six factors forward of Spain, who had been stage on factors with Germany (4) however sneaked into the final 16 forward of their European rivals owing to a superior aim distinction. Costa Rica, who had been in rivalry to progress for a couple of minutes after they led Germany however misplaced 4-2, completed on the backside of the group with three factors.

However the night time belonged to Japan, who as soon as once more scripted an enormous upset because of impressed second half substitutions.

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu’s group picks have come below heavy scrutiny within the final two matches. After his substitutions labored wonders within the second half towards Germany, the gamers who turned across the sport had been left on bench towards Costa Rica, which resulted in a loss. And when he saved them out of the beginning 11 towards Spain on Thursday, one puzzled if Moriyasu had blundered once more, particularly after Spain dominated the primary half, went 1-0 up following a Alvaro Morata header within the eleventh minute, leaving Japan getting ready to elimination.

Maybe he did. However he course-corrected and Japan got here again from the lifeless to win the match and make it to the Spherical of 16.

Moriyasu introduced on Ritsu Doan – one of many influence gamers from the Germany win – off the bench initially of the second half. And it turned out to be a game-changing transfer as Doan scored inside a minute of approaching to show not simply the match, however the complete Group E equation, on its head.

Till that second, it had been plain crusing for Spain and Germany. Whereas Spain had been by no means troubled by Japan, Germany had been asserting themselves over Costa Rica on the Al Bayt stadium.

A Serge Gnabry header off a David Raum cross within the tenth minute had given Germany the lead and so they regarded on target to safe their place within the final 16, provided that Japan – who had been forward of them on factors earlier than kick off – had been dropping to Spain at that second.

It stayed like that till half time in each matches. After restart, although, the tables turned.

Japan got here out all weapons blazing and after Doan’s equaliser within the forty eighth minute, Tanaka knocked the ball previous Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon below controversial circumstances. It appeared just like the ball had crossed the byline earlier than it was performed throughout for Ao Tanaka to attain. However after an agonising VAR wait, it was dominated in Japan’s favour.

Spain pressed onerous for the equaliser however regardless of conserving the possession, they had been unable to breach the Japanese wall.

Japan survived anxious moments late within the match to document a well-known win. It didn’t matter than Germany had defeated Costa Rica within the different sport. Per week after they’d upset Germany, they dealt an even bigger blow this time by knocking them out of the World Cup.


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