SportsGermany bails out Spain

    Germany bails out Spain



    Japan: Gonda; Nagatomo (Doan, m.46), Itakura, Yoshida, Taniguchi; Kamada (Tomiyasu, m.69), Morita, Tanaka (Endo, m.87); Kubo (Mitoma, m.46), Ito, Maeda (Asano, m.60).



    Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta (Carvajal, m.46), Rodrigo, Pau Torres, Balde (Jordi Alba, m.67); Gavi (Ansu Fati, m.67), Busquets, Pedri; Nico Williams (Ferran Torres, m.56), Morata (Asensio, m.56) and Dani Olmo

    Goals: 0-1 min. 11 Morata; 1-1 min. 48 Doans; 2-1 min. 50 tanaka

    Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa).

    Yellow cards Itakura, Taniguichi, Yoshida

    La Roja suffered a total downturn and Japan, leader of the group, left it sound with two slaps. Now, Morocco will challenge Spain next Tuesday. It is Luis Enrique’s turn to shake the couch. Football, so winding the damned, is not always what it seems.

    Seeing the future of the meeting, nobody would have invested in the outcome. Initially, he did not fake Japan. Without camouflage, his only intention was to play so that Spain did not play; that only fiddled with the ball. Up to 83% of possession was granted by the Japanese team in the first period. An overwhelming domain, but not categorical.

    With Japan covered with a 5-4-1 and the rear guard well advanced, the Khalifa Stadium enclosure was so tight that the air did not flow through the midfield. There was no way to ventilate the Asian trench, not even with the wings of Dani Olmo and Nico Williams.

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    It is not easy to adjust soccer when the opponent forces you to a handball duel, to play horizontally. Without unchecking the flyers and screwing the ends, Luis Enrique’s team was too rhetorical in some phases. The duel required mettle and perseverance, and Spain had both. But it also required intrepidity, the daring typical of a team with an average age of 25.3 (28.7 for Japan). But a World Cup can be too solemn even for the most brazen. The match, in addition to infinite patience, claimed the eye of Gavi and Pedri. From a round table of the two cadets with Busquets, his tutor.

    After a couple of feints from Morata, after going around the game many, many times, La Roja sang a goal with a header from his striker to Azpilicueta’s cross. For once, the Japanese defense was having a snack. Morata, with 30 goals, became the fifth highest Spanish scorer after Villa (59), Raul (44), Torres (38) and Silva (35). In the final phases of Eurocups and World Cups, only Villa has been more productive (13 for the Asturian to nine for Morata and Torres).

    The goal still did not alter Japan, as sheltered on the ropes as at the beginning. At that time, at Unai Simon’s ranch, the shocks, not many, were a Spanish affair. Vetoed any suddenness with the ball come the sudden breaths. Some flames due to a rival pincer on Busquets, due to Unai’s cachaza…

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    Nothing predicted the swerve of the second period, if it were not for the wind that Germany suffered in its failed debut with the Asians. Suddenly, in two minutes, in Doha a torrential team was unleashed for Spain. From contemplative Japan to a Japan stampeding towards Unai’s goal. In a snap, the Red on the canvas. Doan, recently arrived by Kubo, nailed a great left-footed goal after a clearance from Balde. Doan, Doan again, put the direct, scruffy to the Spanish rear and Tanaka gave the finishing touch. A goal by a millimeter, which was verified by the VAR when verifying that the ball had not gone out over the bottom line.

    Spain paralyzed. One tachycardia after another with what was happening in Doha and in Jor, only 50 kilometers away. On both stages, two opening acts improvised glory. Japan terrified the Red; Costa Rica tormented Germany. Hispanics and Germans, to the street. A double maracanazo, a colossal double impact.

    In the midst of anxiety, Luis Enrique, who had ordered five changes from the outset compared to the previous clash, rectified. Carvajal had already appeared after the break, and in two strokes Asensio and Ferran did, and then Alba and Ansu. Young Spain had to deal with the anguish of seeing itself exiled so suddenly. From the confetti against Costa Rica and the remarkable one against Germany, one finger from the precipice.

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    For the attempted remedy, a Red without reins, with four fixed attackers and anyone who wanted to join the cavalry. This selection is not a team of outbursts. He did not have them, no overloads to the rival area. To survive, to his own, by the work and grace of the ball. Japan protected, but, as it had transpired, with footballers with fuse, Jamaicans ready if there were cons.

    The news that came from Jor was better for the Spanish than the news from Doha. The Germans Havertz and Fullkrug —the same one who condemned Spain to a tie— frustrated the heroic Costa Rican. With the nut knotted and the heart between the teeth, Spain reached the eighth and took a lesson. In football, an emergency plan is also required when reality gives you a very real slap in the face.

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    Source: EL PAIS

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