The Blue Samurai of Japan came back from a goal down to score two important goals that ensured their qualification to the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in their most cherished 2-1 win over the La Furia Roja of Spain.
The win for Japan was the reason Germany crashed out of the competition at the group stage, despite pummeling Costa Rica by 4-2 in the other group E encounter.
Japan eventually top Group E to book a Round-of-16 date with Group F runners-up Croatia, while Spain will face Morocco in the first knockout stage.
There was a little drama surrounding Japan;s second goal when it appeared that Kaoru Mitoma had taken the ball over the left byline before cutting it back for Tanaka to tap home.
However, after a lengthy check by Video Assistant Referee, (VAR), the goal was surprisingly awarded and effort by Spain to level things up proved abortive in the thrilling encounter.
La Roja were in cruise control at the break after Alvaro Morata headed home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross for his third goal in three group games.
But half-time substitute Doan transformed the momentum two minutes after coming on when he seized on a loose pass from Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon and drilled home the equalizer, before Tanaka’s close-range strike earned Japan another stunning win after upsetting Germany in their opener.
Meanwhile, in the other group E encounter, Germany somehow managed to remove themselves from the World Cup by narrowly winning a game which they initially seemed set to win by more Spain’s 7-0 margin.
Jamal Musiala ran the show for the most part of the game, but the flaws at the heart of the German engine revealed themselves on a night of monumental drama which left this place drowning in permutations.
Just when the Costa Ricans appears like they will be roasted by the Germans they found a way to reduce the tally and made the scoreline respectable.
In all, after three matches in group E the Germans and the Costa Ricans will head to different directions to their various destinations.