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Japan and Spain reach the World Cup Round of 16; Costa Rica and Germany were eliminated.

Japan secured another incredible victory after defeating Germany in their opening match, making their rise out of the “group of death” one of the greatest achievements in the country’s football history.


Despite losing to Japan 2-1 on Thursday, Spain managed to sneak into the World Cup last 16 despite losing to Germany, the four-time champion, on a rollercoaster night. After defeating Germany in their opening match, Japan won another incredible match, making their rise out of the “group of death” one of the greatest achievements in the country’s football history.

Spain was on the verge of exiting when Costa Rica was leading in the other game for a few heartbreaking minutes.

However, the 2010 champions made it through after Germany beat Los Ticos again to do them a favor. Spain and Germany both finished with four points, but La Roja won on goal differential.
With a towering header early on, Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead, but Japan dramatically scored back at the start of the second half.


Just like they did against Germany, they made a stunning comeback thanks to goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka. Because the officials relied on video assistant refereeing (VAR) to determine that Kaoru Mitoma had kept the ball in play by a hair’s breadth to set Tanaka up, the goal was highly contentious.


In the final stages, Spain struggled to create chances against a steadfast Japanese defense because the Asian team was aware that if they conceded another goal, they would be eliminated.
While the substitutes raced on to celebrate, the exhausted and elated Japanese players collapsed at halftime.
In the last 16, Spain will play Morocco, and Japan will play Croatia.


– Rollercoaster night:
Both teams made five changes, with Alejandro Balde and Nico Williams getting full debuts and Alvaro Morata taking over as the starting goalkeeper.
Japan started with five backs in an effort to keep Spain at bay, but they pressed high in the attack to try to take advantage of mistakes.


Spain is some of the time at real fault for glaring protective blunders and Pau Torres exemplified that with a messy touch which prompted Japan’s most memorable possibility, terminated into the side-netting by Junya Ito.


With a towering header from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 12th minute, Morata gave La Roja the lead. This rekindled the relationship that occasionally worked for Chelsea after the striker arrived in 2017.


At the break, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu brought in Mitoma and Doan to replace the ineffective Takefuso Kubo and Yuto Nagatomo. The move paid off right away.
Doan, a winger, scored from the edge of the box and beat Unai Simon, who could have done more to keep it out after Balde lost the ball under pressure.


Tanaka bunched the ball home from on the goalline three minutes later, after Mitoma miraculously kept the ball in play as he crossed it, according to video assistant refereeing (VAR).
Luis Enrique made a slew of substitutions in an effort to regain control, leaving Spain stunned and unable to respond.


When Costa Rica took a 2-1 lead over Germany in the other game, the coach, alone and perched on the edge of his technical area, was unaware that his team was in danger of elimination.


Spain survived, advancing thanks to their unrivaled goal distinction, on a night that was undeniably more frightening than they had expected – – and Japan got a hugely unlikely achievement

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