Good Evening, and welcome to today’s live blog of Japan vs Spain. Japan come into this match following a dismal performance against Costa Rica, Losing one-nil in a game that they were heavily expected to win. Spain come into this match as heavy favourites after showing another great performance against a stubborn Germany side to earn a 1-1 draw. Japan will need to be at the top of their game to get a result here which they will need to reach the knockout stages. A Japan win sends them though no matter the result of Germany vs Costa Rica. If they draw or lose it will be out of their hands and be dependent on points being dropped. Will we see another footballing giant go out after Belgium earlier today? I am Kai Bailey and I will be taking you through this nail biting encounter.
KICK OFF :
3′ Spain have started the game as expected controlling the ball largely.
4′ Japan have set up here to try force Spain into wide areas by overloading the centre of the pitch . Through out this game we can expect a counter-attacking focus by the Japanese.
6′ Sergio Busquets has the first shot of the game and cannot add to his two international goals as his outside of the box shot flies high and wide.
7′ Big chance! Junya Ito hits the side-netting after a rare Busquets mistake. If Japan are gonna cause an upset they will need to take these chances.Embed from Getty Images
11′ GOALLL! Spain open the scoring through Alvaro Morata. Cesar Azpilicueta whips a ball in and Morata who was left unmarked flicks in well.Embed from Getty Images
ELSE WHERE : Germany have opened their scoring against Costa Rica so Japan will be out!Embed from Getty Images
15′ It would take a massive effort for Japan to qualify as this Spain side is looking deadly and well-oiled.
19′ Spain are caging Japan in well pressing perfectly to suffocate Japan in and make them unable to break out of their own half.
23′ Intricate quick passing makes the ball fall to Morata’s feet whose powerful shot is gathered in by Shuichi Gonda.
27′ Spain looking very impressive on the ball every single player is looking press resistant and confident.
32′ Japan attempting to press here but all the Spain midfielders have been too agile turning perfectly to win fouls.
33′ WOW! it looks like Unai Simon has been pressed into a corner put he plays a perfect pass to Azpilicueta to beat the press. Truly Exceptional!
Yellow Card : Ko Itakura
40′ Spain controlling this match passing effortlessly
Yellow Card : Shogo Taniguchi for a late challenge on Gavi
Yellow Card: Maya Yoshida , Japan racking up the cards here for a challenge through the back of Morata
HALF TIME : Japan are going out as it stands they will need to score at least one to remain in this world cup .
SUBS : Dani Carvajal (ON) – Azpilicueta(OFF) , Kubo (OFF) – Ritsu Doan (ON) , Yuto Nagatomo (OFF) – Kaoru Mitoma(ON)
SECOND HALF KICK OFF
47′ These Subs signal that Moriyasu is going to try press in Spain and attack this match.
48′ GOALLL! Doan does it Again! Doan hits a thunderbolt. Japan press wonderfully and the ball falls to Doan who shoots a shot that looks like Simon will save but the power takes it through his hands.Embed from Getty Images
GOALLL! Japan have the ball in the back of the net again but Mitoma’s cut back just goes out of play before he touches the ball. A lengthy VAR check is going on here this is very very close!
52′ GOALLLLLLL! IT HAS BEEN GIVEN!!! A miracle has happened here ! Tanaka gets the last touch on the ball tapping in after Mitoma’s pull back. WOW!Embed from Getty Images
SUB : Ferran Torres(ON) – Nico Williams(OFF) , Marco Asensio(ON) – Morata(OFF)
AS IT STANDS: Some how Japan will top the group , Spain would finish second and Germany would be eliminated.… and as I was typing Costa Rica have levelled another goal for them would knockout Spain!
SUB : Daizen Maeda(OFF) – Takuma Asano (ON)
62′ Japan looking so inventive and fast in the counter attack both sides looking like they can score! Wonderful football!
63′ As the world camera pans to FIFA President Gianni Infantino we have to question why the world cup format is being changed this match is a great advert for the traditional format. Such drama and intrigue!Embed from Getty Images
SUBS: Gavi(OFF) – Ansu Fati (ON), Alex Balde(OFF) – Jordi Alba(ON) , Daichi Kamada(OFF) – Takehiro Tomiyasu(ON)
70′ Mitoma charges down the left wing an crosses beautifully to Asano who cannot convert. Massive chance missed!
AS IT STANDS: GERMANY AND SPAIN ARE GOING HOME!!! COSTA RICA are beating Germany causing both giants to be knocked out! The best author could never have written this story!
ELSE WHERE : Germany have equalised meaning Spain are back through!
75′ Spain putting pressure on looking for a equaliser however Japan are remaining strong in defence
78′ Spain remain calm as they patiently await a opening but the Japanese defence remains strong.
81′ Fati and Asensio lookto combine however Tomiyasu is there again to prevent him.Embed from Getty Images
83′ Japan win a controversial free kick which Itakura cannot get a powerful shot off , easily running into Simon’s arms
84′ Japan break the press an Ito looks to be in on goal but Alba recovers well to nick the ball away. Showing his vast experience!
ELSE WHERE : Germany have scored again to make it 3-2. Putting them on 4 points with Spain however Spain have a six goal goal difference in hand. Germany are relying on more goals and a Spain goal! Three minutes to go of the 90!
SUB: Wataru Endo(ON) – Ao Tanaka(OFF)
89: A long shot by Asensio stings Gonda’s gloves and the rebound is cleared beautifully
90: Olmo fires a shot after some wonderful one-touch football Gonda is there again!
SEVEN MINUTES ADDED ON
92: Pedri Attempts a flick which runs through to Gonda. Can Japan hold out?
94: Japan defending wonderfully here with three minutes to go!
96: Olmo shoots from distance but drag’s it wide. Giving Japan a chance to waste a few more minutes.
FULL TIME!!!! – JAPAN! Against all odds are through to the knockout stage!Embed from Getty Images
At half time everyone wrote off Japan but two goals within the first six minutes of the second half stun Spain. Tanaka’s goal was very controversial but that response gives Japan what they deserved. Japan finish top of the group in the hardest possible way and Spain finish runners up. Germany are out of the World Cup in the group stage for the second successive tournament . This amzaing result means that Japan take on Croatia and Spain take on Morocco.