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World Cup 2022: Japan vs. Spain head-to-head record

World Cup 2022: Japan vs. Spain head-to-head record

The race for a place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup goes down to the wire in Group E as Japan square off against Spain at the Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday.

Luis Enrique‘s side were denied early qualification to the knockout stages as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium in last Sunday’s second round of group fixtures.

Off the back of a record-setting 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, substitute Alvaro Morata netted shortly after the hour mark to put La Joya ahead and set Germany on their way to a group-stage exit before Niclas Fullkrug restored parity to hand Hansi Flick‘s side a glimmer of hope.

As for Japan, they kicked off their quest for a second successive knockout-stage appearance on a high as they fought back from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over Germany in last week’s curtain-raiser.

However, Hajime Moriyasu‘s men were sent crashing down to earth as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica four days later, when Keysher Fuller struck in the 83rd minute to hand Los Ticos a much-needed victory.

Japan head into Thursday needing a win to guarantee their place in the round of 26 as they currently sit second in Group E, level on three points with third-placed Costa Rica and one point off Spain at the top of the standings.

To do so, the Samurai Blue must avoid a repeat of their previous and only meeting against Spain, which came in a friendly contest back in April 2001, when they fell to a slender 1-0 defeat.

In that encounter, former Valencia midfielder Ruban Baraja came up clutch for the one-time world champions as he grabbed a 90th-minute winner at the Estadio Nuevo El Arcangel.

However, Japan will take courage in the fact that they have won each of their last two games against European nations, claiming a 1-0 friendly victory over Serbia back in June 2021, before stunning Germany in last Wednesday’s Group E opener.


Japan wins: 0
Spain wins: 1
Draws: 0
Japan goals: 0
Spain goals: 1


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

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How Japan could line up against Spain
How Spain could line up against Japan

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