Japan scored twice early in the second half to come up from behind and defeat Spain 2-1 and then advance to the round of 16 of the World Cup.
Alvaro Morata scored first for Spain in the 11th minute at the Al Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday, but Japan JAPAN and SPAIN to the round of 16 Germany and Korea bids farewell to World Cuprallied after halftime. The Spanish striker rose highest to head a cross home, scoring his third goal in the tournament.
Ritsu Doan equalised in the 48th minute with a left-footed shot from outside the box just minutes after coming on as a substitute at halftime, and Ao Tanaka added the second one from close range a few minutes later.
It took about two minutes for video review officials to confirm the ball had not gone out of bounds before the goal.
Japan finished top of Group E, with Spain finishing second on goal difference consigning Germany to elimination, despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.It was a dramatic finale to the group with qualification within sight for all four teams in the final stretch of both games.
In the second half, Costa Rica took the lead against Germany a result that would have meant elimination for Spain, who were losing to Japan. But the Germans were quick to equalise and retake the lead by Kai Havertz scoring twice and Nikolas scoring one more.With the clock ticking down, Japan seemed safe until Germany made it 4-2 against Costa Rica. A late Spanish goal could have sent the Japanese from first to third place in the group. But the Samurai Blue managed to hold on and weather waves of Spanish attacks.
Despite Germany winning, it had to bid their farewell to World Cup sooner followed by Costa Rica. Japan managed to top the group with six points whereas Spain came second with four points which was a tie with Gemany but only goal difference sent Germany back home.
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