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J*pan beat Spain to top group as Germany crash out

Friday, December 2nd, 2022 00:08 | By
Japan beat Spain to top group as Germany crash out
Japanese players celebrate after a beating Spain to advance to round of 16 (left). German players console each other after being eliminated from the World Cup. PHOTOS/Courtesy.

Japan scored twice early in the second half to come from behind to defeat Spain 2-1 and advance to the round of 16 of the World Cup on Thursday.

Ao Tanaka scored the winning goal from close range early in the second half. It took about two minutes for video review officials to confirm the ball hadn’t gone out of bounds before the goal.

Álvaro Morata scored first for Spain in the 11th minute at Khalifa International Stadium, but Japan rallied after halftime. Ritsu Doan equalized in the 48th with a left-footed shot from outside the box, and Tanaka added the second one a few minutes later.

Meanwhile Germany, a four-time World Cup champion, was eliminated in the group stage Thursday despite beating Costa Rica, 4-2 in the nations’ Group E finale.

With Japan’s 2-1 win over Spain, the Germans failed to reach the knockout stage for the second consecutive World Cup, a remarkable fall for a national team that won the event in 2014, finished third in 2010 and 2006 and was the runner-up in 2002.

Germany needed Spain to draw with Japan to avoid a second straight group stage exit.

Japan and Spain advanced from Group E instead.

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