On Thursday 1 December, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) faced the Spain National Team in their final group stage match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Despite conceding the lead in the first half, Japan came from behind to win the match 2-1, thanks to the goals scored by DOAN Ritsu (SC Freiburg) and TANAKA Ao (Fortuna Dusseldorf). With this win, Japan finished Group E in first place and advanced to the Round of 16 for the second straight World Cup.
Japan will now face Croatia, the runners-up of the last World Cup, on Monday 5 December.
Facing Spain, who led the group with a win and a draw, Japan started GONDA Shuichi (Shimizu S-Pulse) in goal, with ITAKURA Kou (Borussia MG), YOSHIDA Maya (FC Schalke 04), and TANIGUCHI Shogo (Kawasaki Frontale) forming the three-man defence line. Tanaka and MORITA Hidemasa (Sporting CP) were paired in the middle to serve as the defensive midfielders, while ITO Junya (Stade de Reims) and NAGATOMO Yuto (FC Tokyo) were placed in the flanks. MAEDA Daizen (Celtic FC) was named as the lone striker with KUBO Takefusa (Real Sociedad) and KAMADA Daichi (Eintracht Frankfurt) playing beneath him. .....
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