Japan vs Spain FIFA World Cup Live Score 1-12-2022
AL RAYYAN, Qatar — This World Cup is perhaps the final stand of Belgium’s golden generation of male soccer players. Behind stars like Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois, the country has hovered near the top of the world rankings for years and, in 2018, advanced within two wins of the World Cup title. Despite reaching those heights, the Red Devils have yet to win a major international title. Now, with most of their stars in their early 30s, this could be the last time the core group of players is together with a significant trophy at stake. In its opening match of the tournament on Wednesday at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Belgium barely overcame a plucky Canada squad, which was making its first World Cup appearance since 1986, claiming a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by Michy Batshuayi. The 3 points put Belgium atop Group F, after Morocco and Croatia played a scoreless draw on Wednesday.
Although the 2010 winners only need a point to qualify for the last 16, all four nations in Group E have a chance to go through on Thursday. Seven outfield players in Spain’s 26-man squad are yet to feature in Qatar but Enrique will not give them game time just for the sake of it. “Some may end up not playing at all – we all know how it works,” he said. “It is a reality, we have spoken about it with the players. “Don’t write Costa Rica off, they can win against Germany. Any of the four nations can still go through and that is very telling. “We are here to win seven matches. We want to be winners of this group.
” Japan came back to upset Germany in their first game but then lost 1-0 to Costa Rica, leaving they and Costa Rica a point behind group leaders Spain as Japan aim to reach the last 16 for the second straight World Cup. “I would like the players to play well so they can increase their value in the eyes of the Japanese people and I hope we can impart hope when they look at our games and our play,” said coach Hajime Moriyasu. Japan defenders Takehiro Tomiyasu and Hiroki Sakai are both doubtful with hamstring injuries. Midfielder Wataru Endo could miss out after missing training due to a knee problem. Spain midfielder Gavi, 18, is doubtful after missing training due to a minor injury. Captain Sergio Busquets is one booking away from a suspension and is set to be rested.
La Roja have also won their final group fixture in eight of their last nine participations at the World Cup, with a 2-2 draw against Morocco in 2018 the only exception during this run. Japan defenders Takehiro Tomiyasu and Hiroki Sakai are both doubtful with hamstring injuries, while midfielder Wataru Endo, who has been absent from first-team training, could also miss out due to a knee problem. Captain Maya Yoshida is poised to earn his 125th international cap, and the Schalke 04 defender is set to be joined in the back four by Miki Yamane, Ko Itakura and Yuto Nagatomo – the latter of whom has 140 caps to his name. Either Ao Tanaka or Leganes’ Gaku Shibasaki is set to replace Endo in centre-midfield, while Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano – who both scored in the shock win over Germany – will be hoping to start on the flanks, although Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo will also be pushing for a starting berth.
Eintracht Frankfurt playmaker Daichi Kamada is expected to continue in the number 10 role in behind either Daizen Maeda or Ayase Ueda. As for Spain, 18-year-old midfielder Gavi has been absent from training due to a minor injury and is a doubt for Thursday’s contest. In addition, captain Sergio Busquets – who is one booking away from a suspension – is set to be rested, so there could be two midfield spots up for grabs, with Koke, Carlos Soler and Marcos Llorente all hoping to start their first game in Qatar. However, Manchester City’s Rodri could move up from centre-back to replace Busquets in the deep-lying midfield role, with either Pau Torres or Eric Garcia slotting into the heart of the defence alongside Aymeric Laporte. Morata will be pushing to start in attack after scoring two goals in as many substitute appearances, and he could join Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo in the front three, with Marco Asensio potentially dropping to the substitutes’ bench.
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