Japan recorded a 2-1 win against Spain in a matchday three 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E fixture played on Thursday, December 1, 2022.
Reactions as Japan beat Spain to top group of death
Reactions as Japan shocked the world with a win against Spain to top group of death.
After a loss to Costa Rica in their second group game, Japan needed an outright victory against Spain to stay in Qatar.
Spain struck first as Alvaro Morata converted a cross by César Azpilicueta in the 11th minute.
Spain went to the halftime break in front but Japan came for the second half a different team. Just three minutes after the restart, Junya Ito provided the equalizer for Ritsu Doan.
In the 51st minute, Ao Tanaka converted a ball through to him by Kaoru Mitoma to put Japan in front.
The Japanese were strong in defense protecting their lead to claim a much-needed three points against Spain.
The result meant that Japan finish top of the group of death ahead of Spain while Germany and Costa Rica were knocked out.
The reactions following the game were about Japan finishing top of the most difficult group at the World Cup.
Reactions as Japan shocks Spain
A group with Germany and Spain former World Cup winners only for Japan to finish top is a massive achievement.
The element of luck was also discussed as Tanaka's goal to win the game against Spain came with controversy.
The replays show that the ball went out before it was pulled back and that not only knocked Germany out but also aided Japan to finish above Spain.
The result was also massive for Asian football as Japan is the first team from the continent to progress to the round of 16 in Qatar.
See reactions to Japan's shock win below
Japan will now face F runners-up and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia for a place in the quarterfinals.