Japanese cheers in Khalifa
JAVIER SORIANO / AFP
Japan and Spain have reached the World Cup round of 16 together.
With their surprising 2:1 (0:1) victory against the title favorites, the Japanese are group winners, the Spaniards continue as second.
Germany and Costa Rica are out.
First, however, it had to go out after a Spanish victory.
Despite five changes in coach Luis Enrique's starting XI, Spain took the lead through Álvaro Morata, who headed in a cross from César Azpilicueta.
The few Japanese offensive actions turned out to be imprecise and hectic.
At halftime, Ritsu Doan, the SC Freiburg player who had already scored against Germany, came on for Japan.
And quickly scored the equalizer (48th).
Shortly thereafter, Düsseldorf's Ao Tanaka even took the lead (51') on assist from Kaouri Mitoma, who had also previously been substituted on.
Suddenly Germany was eliminated in the parallel game.
Enrique is on for Topstorm
Spain coach Enrique then substituted his top storm, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres came (57th).
Because even the Spaniards were threatened with losing the World Cup when the Costa Ricans suddenly led against Germany in the parallel game.
In this case Japan and Costa Rica would have sensationally reached the round of 16.
However, the Spaniards could no longer equalize.
In the closing stages, Japan's keeper Shūichi Gonda made a save against Asensio (89') and then against Dani Olmo (90').
However, Spain must face Group F winners Morocco in the round of 16.
In the round of 16, Japan meets the reigning vice world champions Croatia.