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‘Total loss of control’ a warning for Spain: Luis Enrique | Football news

DOHA: Spain coach Luis Enrique blamed five minutes of “total loss of control” for his team’s shock 2-1 defeat to Japan on Thursday, which saw them qualify for the World Cup in the last 16 seconds of Group E .
La Roja, one of the favorites to win the tournament, would have been eliminated if Costa Rica defeated Germany, although Los Ticos eventually lost 4–2.
Alvaro Morata sent Spain ahead early on, but two hits in four minutes from Japan at the start of the second half turned the game upside down.
“(It was) five minutes of total lack of control, even panic,” said Luis Enrique.
“They scored two goals against us, and if they should have scored two more, they would have scored them, I’m sure.
“This is a World Cup and when a team like Japan has nothing to lose, they decide to risk everything and fly past us like airplanes.
“The situation was under control when Japan decided to regain their previous position on the field and close shop at the back.”
Ritsu Doan scored Japan’s equalizer in the 48th minute before Ao Tanaka brought in an extremely controversial second.
The ball appeared to go out of play before Kaoru Mitoma crossed it, but after a lengthy VAR check the referees cleared the goal.
“I’ve seen a photo that must have been tampered with, it can’t be that this photo is real. It must have been manipulated,” said Luis Enrique.
“I felt something strange was going on when the VAR took just as much time to decide… I have nothing to say.
“Fortunately the team only goes into collapse mode once every four years or I wouldn’t be able to handle it.”
Spain will meet Morocco in the last 16 after the defeat and Luis Enrique thinks his team did not deserve to finish as group winners.
“Japan goes through first and that is deserved because they beat Germany and Spain,” said the coach.
“The mourning and the pain, that’s what we’ll go through tonight, there’s nothing to celebrate.
“We went through the second, yes, but this should serve as a warning to realize that this is going to happen.
“If we are lucky enough to go up front against Morocco, Morocco will risk it all again at full power.
“We have to show more strength when the opposition puts pressure on us.”
Luis Enrique was on the edge of his technical area during the match, not realizing that there was a period where Spain was heading for elimination.
With Costa Rica leading 2-1 against Germany, Spain temporarily found themselves in third place for a few minutes before Kai Havertz made the game 2-2.
“We went out?” asked Luis Enrique. “I didn’t know because I was focused on my game, not speculation (on the other).
“If I had found out, I would have had a heart attack.”



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