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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Japan vs Spain Highlights: Japan roars back again to beat Spain and advance to the last 16 | Football news

DOHA: Japan staged their second stunning World Cup turnaround as they beat the 2010 champions Spain 2-1 on Thursday with two quick goals and advanced to the last 16 along with their beaten opponents.
Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu went into half time trailing 1-0 and on his way to an early end to the World Cup. He reorganized his side to give them more offensive power and within six minutes the Samurai Blue were ahead.
Ritsu Doan, one of the substitutes, hammered in a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 48th minute that Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon – whose poor road play had created danger – was unable to deflect.

Three minutes later, Ao Tanaka scored from close range after the other half’s substitute Kaoru Mitoma cut the ball back from the touchline.
It took the VAR system several minutes to confirm that the ball wasn’t out before Mitoma’s touch, leading to wild celebrations by Japan and their fans as the verdict was handed down.
Spain had been in total control in the first half, but suddenly clung to their chance to stay in the World Cup as Costa Rica and Germany fought out their own drama in the other Group E contest.

Alvaro Morata had put the Spaniards ahead when he scored his third goal in three games in Qatar, soaring high above the Japanese defense to bump a header past goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda in the 11th minute from a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Japan’s breathtaking 2-1 win – who also beat Germany 2-1 after trailing in their opening game of the tournament – meant they topped Group E, followed by Spain in second, who only finished third-placed on goal difference. Germany ended. .
Japan will play Croatia in the last 16, while Spain will play Morocco.

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