Japan 2-1 Spain Highlights, FIFA World Cup: Tanaka, Doan score in historic comeback, JPN vs ESP, Qatar 2022 updates

Japan vs Spain: Follow the live updates of the Group E match JAP vs ESP being played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

Ao Tanaka of Japan celebrates scoring his side’s second goal later disallowed during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Japan and Spain at Khalifa International Stadium on December 01, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Ao Tanaka of Japan celebrates scoring his side’s second goal later disallowed during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Japan and Spain at Khalifa International Stadium on December 01, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Japan vs Spain: Follow the live updates of the Group E match JAP vs ESP being played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

Welcome to Sportstar’s live blog of the FIFA World Cup Group E match between Japan and Spain, being played at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.
Full Time! Japan 2-1 Spain
Two goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka secured another of Japan’s historic comebacks in the FIFA World Cup as Japan finished as the topper in Group E. It will face Croatia in the round of 16, while Spain, finishing second, will face Morocco in the prequarterfinals.

Joined hands, Japanese flags and colours of white and red glowing with happiness and glory on the faces of the fans as they roar and sing with their team’s manager instructing his team on the field.


Spain is dominating the match after most players of its 7-0 win against Costa Rica are on the pitch. Enrique’s tactic to start a young side with five changes backfired and now the La Furia Roja looks almost set to finish as the team placed second in Group E.


All three teams, Japan, Germany and Spain hang by a string for their hopes to qualify. If Spain score, Germany and Japan are through. If Japan wins, Spain and Japan are through.


Two crucial saves! Asensio shoots on target and Honda makes a great save and Yoshida clears the ball away in a crucial clearance by the Blues. The next minute, Olmo makes a run into the box and takes another shot, which is saved by Gonda.


Spain is finally changing gears with progression of play along the wings, but Moriyasu and thousands of Japan fans singing and jumping in the stadium waited with bated breath to see their team win.


Spain resorting to set-pieces with crosses, awaiting header. However, Japan is throwing men at the back now. No more goal concession as the Asian Giant looks to have woken from the slumber of oblivion, beating former World Cup winners Spain and Germany in Qatar 2022 in the Group stage.


Free Kick for Japan! Doan steps up to take the free kick and Itakura heads to see it land comfortably into the hands of Unai Simon. Poor marking by Spain.


Japan has nine men at the back like a fortress, forcing Spain to try long range shots now, but that too is blocked and cleared by Japan.


Japan has one blue shirt clung to Spain’s forward line as its opponent plots a comeback. Asensio beats the back line, to cross for Fati, who heads it to Ferran Torres, but the ball is finally cleared following a low cross from the left.


It is all happening int he FIFA World Cup! Havertz scores the equaliser for Germany and Spain is back at second in Group E. Time for Luis Enrique and his side to keep dreaming to try and score for a comeback.


Spain tries an attack with Asensio making a run behind the defence, but Japan is holding still at the back now and Vargas, meanwhile has scored the leading goal against Germany, which means Costa Rica and Japan are the two in the driving seat to qualify for the round of 16.


Two more changes for Spain! In: Fati, Alba, Out: Gavi, Balde, Change for Japan too! In: Tomiyasu , Out: Kamada


It is all Japan at the moment - the flair, the pressure and the frequency of attack. The Samurai Blues are up and marching further forward in the pitch as drum rolls echo throughout the stadium as Moriyasu’s team can sense more goals in another comeback win.


Spain has been punished for being too comfortable, enjoying possession in the game and now it looks to build again, from the ashes of its lead, from its carcass of Morata’s goal that rose hopes for fans of La Furia Roja at the Khalifa International Stadium.


Double change for Spain! In: Marco Asensio, Ferran Torres , Out: Nico Williams, Alvaro Morata

Japan’s Ao Tanaka scores their second goal against Spain in the FIFA World Cup.

Japan’s Ao Tanaka scores their second goal against Spain in the FIFA World Cup. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

54’ Japan is ahead six minutes after the equaliser!
Japan attacks again with Doan delivering a cross from the right and Kaoru Mitoma finds a connection marginally inside the field for Ao Tanaka, who scores the leading goal for Japan. After a VAR check, the goal stays to the dismay of Spanish fans in the stadium.
48’ GOAL! Doan scores to equalise for Japan
Spain is caught napping at the back as Japan presses high up the pitch, and a mistake by Balde sees Doan get to the ball and he shoots into the net to equalise. What a hit that! And Japan is back in the game.

Moriyasu looks to shift gears in what may be the most important 45 minutes for Japan in the FIFA World Cup. The team had upset Germany in the second half with two goals in this very ground.

Second half changes!
Two changes for Japan: Nagatomo and Kubo are replaced by Mitoma and Doan
One change for Spain: Carvajal replaces Azpilicueta
Half Time! Japan 0-1 Spain
A headed goal by Alvaro Morata keeps Spain ahead at half-time against Japan with Luis Enrique’s side currently sitting on top of Group E.

Two yellow cards in two minutes ! Shogo Taniguchi gets into the book for a foul on Gavi and Japan’s captain Maya Yoshida gets a booking for a late challenge on Morata.


Olmo gets a through ball from Balde, and tries to run across the box, waiting for a gap, which never arrives and his shot is blocked by Japan.


Yellow Card! Itakura tries to get the ball off Pedri with a challenge from behind and gets booked for the late challenge. It is his second yellow of the tournament, which means he would miss Japan’s potential round of 16 match, if it qualifies.


Japan tries to attack with Ito running up the pitch and he passes to Kamada, who dribbles into the box and shoots. However, Pau Torres is there to make a timely block.


Mistake from Unai Simon! The Spain goalkeeper delays taking the goal kick and Maeda pressurizes him to almost give the ball away as he kicks it to his right and away from Japan.

Matchday trivia
Alvaro Morata became the second player to score in his first three FIFA World Cup appearances for Spain, after Telmo Zarra in 1950.

Japan tries to play one-touch football with Maeda trying to get the ball to Nagatomo, but Spain intercepts to get back possession of the ball, keeping its reputation to regain ball possession after losing it, intact.


Japan looks to be chasing shadows a Spain dominated the match completely, with passes, complete ones, and forcing Japan in its own half.


Foul! Morita tries to get back possession from Spain, trying challenge on Busquets and fouls the Barcelona midfielder for a Spain free-kick, which is taken quickly.


Japan tries to attack against the run of play, something that saw it score the second goal against Germany, but this time Kamada, receicing a through ball along the left flank, falls for the offside trap.


Chance! Gavi makes a good run through the midfield and passes to Morata, whose shot forces a save from Gonda, keeping the score 1-0 in favour of Spain.


Spain has taken just 11 seconds to recover the ball after losing possession, while Japan has taken 72 seconds -- something that tells a lot about the story of the game so far.


The Samurai Blues have five men at the back as they look to stop Spain in their tracks. Olmo, Spain’, however, has chosen to build attacks in the middle so far, with Gavi delivering trough passes into the box.


Spain continues to build from the back as Japan sits sequestered in its own half while Japanese fans go all the more raucous at the Khalifa International Stadium.


Spain marches up the pitch, with combination play from Gavi, Pedri and Busquets and flashes of the Barcelona chemistry is evident in the team as La Furia Roja enjoys possession in the match.

Spain’s Alvaro Morata, second right, heads the ball to score his side’s opening goal against Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda during the World Cup Group E match between Japan and Spain, at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Spain’s Alvaro Morata, second right, heads the ball to score his side’s opening goal against Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda during the World Cup Group E match between Japan and Spain, at the Khalifa International Stadium. | Photo Credit: AP

11’ Goal! Morata scores for Spain
Azpilicueta whips in a cross from the right and Morata jumps to meet it right on time, scoring his third goal in this World Cup, giving Spain the lead as he goes level on top in the Golden Boot race.

Spain walking on thin ice with the back passes as Maeda presses high up the pitch, but Enrique’s side absorbs the pressure well, and keeps control over the ball, with Pedri pulling strings in the midfield.

7’ Chance for Japan!
Japan attacks on the counter and Junya Iso is at the end of it, who shoots from the right, but the ball goes side-netting. First real chance for Japan to show its exploits in the final third.

Shot! Nico Williams makes a run along the right flank, and crosses in the centre, which is cleared by Japan, but it eventually falls for Busquets, who shoots from distance and the ball flies over the net.


Maeda gets the ball in the midfield, and passes to Kubo, who makes an impressive run along the right flank and crosses to the centre. However, Spain tracks back and clears the ball out of danger.


Japan steals possession eventually but a defensive error awards Nico Williams the ball and La Furia Roja gets back the bal, palying in short passes yet again.


Spain starts the match with its conventional approach of dominating possession and has not allowed Japan to have a touch on the ball in the first one and half minutes of the game.

Kick Off!
The FIFA World Cup Group E match is underway at the Khalifa International Stadium. Spain, in red, starts from right to left, while Japan, in blue, starts from the other end.
Stage get for the final Group E match for Japan and Spain
The players walk out of the tunnel and line up for the National Anthems of the respective countries. Final showdown for Japan, which is looking to upset table topper Spain in the final Group stage match.
Enrique’s faith in youngsters!
Spain will begin its match against Japan with the youngest starting eleven in a FIFA World Cup match since its elimination in the 2006 knockout round against France.

Time to script history for Japan?

Japan and Spain have met just once this century with the Spaniards winning that mate in 2001, which was an international friendly. Or will it be the last match for the Samurai Blues in the FIFA World Cup.

Japan vs Spain head-to head: April 25, 2001: Japan 0-1 Spain (International Friendly)

Starting lineups
Japan: Shuichi Gonda (GK), Shogo Taniguchi, Ko Itakura, Yuto Nagatomo, Takefusa Kubo, Hidemasa Morita, Junya Ito, Daichi Kamada, Ao Tanaka, Maya Yoshida, Daizen Maeda
Spain: Unai Simon (GK); Azpilicueta, Rodri, Pau Torres, Balde, Busquets, Pedri, Gavi, Nico Williams, Dani Olmo, Morata


After conceding late to miss out on a victory against Germany, Spain finds itself with some work left to do against Japan to guarantee its spot in the round of 16 at the World Cup.

The Spaniards doen’t need much, though, because a draw on Thursday will be enough, and even a loss may allow the team to advance depending on the other Group E result between Germany and Costa Rica.

Japan doesn’t have it as easy, but a win will guarantee the Japanese a place in the knockout stage for the second straight time. It would be the first time Japan advances past the group stage in back-to-back tournaments. If Japan loses, though, the team will head home.

ALSO READ: FIFA World Cup: Germany looks for final push as Group E and F qualification goes down the wire

“It’s going to be a high-pressure game for our players,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said Wednesday. “But we must believe in ourselves. The players must believe in themselves and they must believe in their teammates in order to fight against our opponent. Hopefully they will be able to do their best and the result will come.”

The Japanese opened their campaign with a surprising win over four-time champion Germany before losing to Costa Rica. They were eliminated by Belgium in the last 16 in Russia.

Spain, which conceded an 83rd-minute equalizer against Germany, may also go home with a loss if Costa Rica beats the Germans or if the Germans win big to overcome Spain’s goal difference after its 7-0 opening win over Costa Rica.

A victory at Khalifa International Stadium will guarantee Spain first place in the group, and keep it on track for a possible matchup with five-time champion Brazil in the quarterfinals.


“Hopefully we will get to face Brazil, because that would mean that we finished in first place in our group,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “To win a World Cup you need to beat every team, so we are not going to try to avoid anyone.”

ALSO READ: Stephanie Frappart set to become first woman referee in a men’s FIFA World Cup match in Qatar 2022

Spain enters the final round with four points, one more than both Japan and Costa Rica. Germany has one point.

“We are not thinking about our opponents in the knockout rounds,” Spain midfielder Koke Resurrección said. “We need to beat Japan first and then we’ll see which team we’ll have to play against. If it’s Brazil in the quarterfinals, so be it, and we’ll try to prepare for it as best as possible.”

Germany’s chances of staying alive in Qatar will largely depend on Spain winning its match against Japan. Then a victory over Costa Rica would be enough for the Germans.

What may not help Germany is the fact that Luis Enrique may rotate some of his players after making only one change from the first to the second game — Dani Carvajal coming in for César Azpilicueta at right back.

Teenager Gavi, who started in the first two matches, trained separately from the group after the 1-1 draw with Germany because of a minor knee injury. He was expected to be available for Thursday’s match but was not likely to start.

Another midfielder expected to be rested is 34-year-old Sergio Busquets, the only remaining player from Spain’s World Cup-winning squad in 2010. Striker Álvaro Morata, who scored a goal in each of the first two matches after coming off the bench, could get a spot in the starting lineup against Japan.

The under-23 squads of Spain and Japan met in the semifinals of last year’s Tokyo Olympics, when Spain advanced before eventually losing to Brazil in the final. Several players from those squads made their senior teams in Qatar, including Marco Asensio, who scored Spain’s winner in extra time in the semifinals against Japan, and Takefusa Kubo, who plays for Real Sociedad in the Spanish league.

“Hopefully,” he joked, “if we win the World Cup we can put on a concert.”

(From AP)

Where will the Japan vs Spain World Cup opening match kick-off?
The Japan vs Spain match will kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium.
When will the Japan vs Spain World Cup opening match kick-off?
The Japan vs Spain match will kick-off at 12:30 AM IST on December 2, 2022.
Where can you watch the Japan vs Spain match in India?
The Japan vs Spain World Cup opening match will be telecasted live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. On Android and well as iOS, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be live streamed on JioCinema.
Where can you watch the Japan vs Spain match outside India?
The following list shows where you can watch the Japan vs Spain match outside India:
United States – TV: FOX, Telemundo; Live Stream: fuboTV, Fox Sports app, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
Canada – TV: CTV, TSN; Live Stream: fuboTV, TSN app
United Kingdom – TV: BBC One; Live Stream: BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Website
Australia – TV: SBS; Live Stream: SBS On Demand
New Zealand – TV: Sky Sports; Live Stream: Sky Sport
Malaysia – TV: RTM, Astro; Live Stream: Astro Go
Singapore – TV: Mediacorp Channel 5; Live Stream: StarHub TV+, IPTV, Singtel TV
Hong Kong – TV: BeIN Sports, ITV; Live Stream: Now TV, ViuTV
Nigeria – SuperSport and Showmax Pro.
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