Japan vs Spain final score, result: Doan and Tanaka down La Roja as Japan top World Cup Group E

Japan came from behind to seize another shock victory over a European superpower, as second-half goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka downed Spain and sent Germany crashing out of the 2022 World Cup.

Victory saw the Japanese top Group E to book a Round-of-16 date with Group F runners-up Croatia, while La Roja will face Morocco in the first knockout stage.

But there was more than a hint of controversy about Japan’s second goal, with replays appearing to show Kaoru Mitoma had taken the ball over the byline before cutting it back for Tanaka to tap home.

After a lengthy referral to VAR, the goal was surprisingly awarded and a dispirited Spain could not find an equalizer.

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.

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights for Japan vs Spain at the 2022 World Cup. Follow below for complete results from the Group E match in Qatar.

MORE: Best bets for Japan vs Spain

Japan vs Spain live score

  1H 2H Final
Japan 0 2 2
Spain 1 0 1

SPA – Alvaro Morata (11th min)

JAP – Ritsu Doan (48th min)

JAP – Ao Tanaka (53rd min)

Confirmed lineups:

Japan (3-4-3, right to left): 12. Gonda (GK) — 3. Taniguchi, 4. Itakura, 22. Yoshida — 5. Nagatomo, 3. Morita, 14. Ito, 17. Tanaka — 15. Kamada, 11. Kubo, 25. Maeda.

Spain (4-3-3, right to left): 23. Simon (GK) — 2. Azpilicueta, 16. Rodri, 4. Pau, 14. Balde — 9. Gavi, 5. Busquets, 26. Pedri — 12. Williams, 7. Morata, 21. Olmo

MORE: Watch every World Cup match live with fuboTV (U.S.-only free trial)


1. Japan Q 6 3 2 0 1 4 3 +1
2. Spain Q 4 3 1 1 1 9 3 +6
3. Germany 4 3 1 1 1 6 5 +1
4. Costa Rica 3 3 1 0 2 3 11 -8

Japan vs Spain as it happened, highlights from 2022 World Cup

FULLTIME: Japan 2-1 Spain

That’s it! After coming from behind to beat Germany in their opening game, Japan have repeated the trick against Spain! They top Group E, and it looks like Spain will be joining them as runners-up.

90th min+5: Spain are labouring here, struggling to create anything. Or maybe they’ve decided they’d prefer to play Morocco rather than Croatia in the Round of 16?

90th min: We’ll have SEVEN minutes of time added on. And Germany have scored again. They lead 4-2, but are going out as things stand, with Japan and Spain the top two in Group E.

89th min: Chance for Spain! Dani Olmo clear on goal, but the striker can’t get enough on it and Shuichi Gonda gets down to make the save.

Watch it if you’re in Canada:

86th min: Germany are back in front, leading Costa Rica 3-2!  That means Spain and Germany are level on points, but Spain have a much healthier goal difference.

84th min: Junya Ito racing through the middle now for Japan, but Dani Carvajal gets back in the nick of time. Spain living dangerously…

83rd min: Good chance to extend the lead for Japan but from a well flighted free-kick,  Ko Itakura can only direct his header straight at Unai Simon.

81st min: Ansu Fati has looked lively since he came on. He gets to the byline and attempts to cut it back, but the cross is blocked and then bounces off the substitute for a goalkick. Are Spain going to find a goal, or rely on Germany to see them through?

74th min: Scrap that! Germany have equalised, so Spain are clinging onto second spot again. 

72nd min: Dramatic news from the other game. Costa Rica have taken the lead! That means that Spain are going out as things stand!

70th min: Great chance for Japan to go further ahead! Kaoru Mitoma goes steaming away down the left wing, leaving Dani Carvajal in his slipstream. The Brighton man plays a superb ball into the box but Takuma Asano can only put it wide.

68th min: Both sides making more changes now. Ansu Fati and Jordi Alba are on for Spain, with Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, who has struggled with a groin injury, coming on at wingback for Japan.

62nd min: Brilliant move by Japan, weaving pretty patterns at pace down the right flank, but the cut-back doesn’t quite reach Daichi Kamada in the middle. 

57th min: Dramatic news from the other game in Group E. Costa Rica have equalized against Germany! That means Japan are now leading the group as things stand, with Spain in second and Germany going out!  

53rd min: IT’S A GOAL! The replays suggested the ball had crossed the line and it looked all the world like it would be ruled out after a lengthy delay, but no! It’s given, and Japan are ahead, and going through as it stands! 

Watch it if you’re in the USA:

51st min: Ritsu Doan causing havoc now! The substitute sends a ball across the face of the goal and Kaoru Mitoma cuts it back from the left byline for Ao Tanaka to tap home.  Hang on, did the ball cross the line? We’ll go to VAR…

48th min: What an entrance! JAPAN ARE LEVEL! Spain keeper Unai Simon gets his side into trouble by playing a delicate ball out from the back when he just needed to give it a good thump upfield. Ritsu Doan is onto the loose ball in a flash and hits a left-foot shot that Simon can only parry into the net. The goalkeeper has not covered himself in glory there.

Watch it if you’re in Canada:

46th min: Changes for both sides at the interval. Dani Carvajal is on at rightback for Cesar Azpilicueta for Spain. Ritsu Doan and Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma are on for Japan, with Yuto Nagatomo and Takefusa Kubo making way.

HALFTIME: Japan 0-1 Spain

Spain in control and cruising through as group winners…as things stand. Should things stay that way, La Roja will face Group F runners-up Croatia in the Round of 16, and Germany – who lead Costa Rica 1-0 – will tackle Morocco.

45th min: Just the one minute of time added on.

44th min: Harsh booking there for Japan defender Maya Yoshida, who has barely touched Alvaro Morata despite the Spanish striker’s theatrical reaction. Yoshida lets him know what he thinks of that decision.

42nd min: Dani Olmo is looking dangerous for Spain. He flicks the ball over one player on the byline and moments late he’s getting a shot away in the middle, but Japan get bodies in the way.

Olmo has been a creative force for his country at this World Cup, scoring once and assisting once so far. He’s also recorded the most chances created (3), shots on target (4), passes played into the box (12) and touches in the opposition’s box (12). 

39th min: Ko Itakura is late into a challenge and the defender collects the first booking of the game. He will miss Japan’s next match, should they progress to the Round of 16. 

36th min: Suddenly Japan are on the attack and Daichi Kamada creates a shooting chance for himself, but Pau Torres stands tall to block the effort.

33rd min: A loose pass from Pau Torres eventually hands possession to Japan. But perhaps surprised by this rare gift, they promptly hand it straight back again.

29th min: Japan are struggling to get anywhere near Spain at the moment. They are completely dominating the ball.

23rd min: Morata makes another run beyond the Japan defence but this time  the Atletico Madrid man got his timing slightly off and he’s flagged offside.

21st min: Is Alvaro Morata in for his second here? Dani Olmo tries to play him in but it’s a bit of a heavy touch and Japan keeper Shuichi Gonda comes out to gather. But Spain are bossing possession at the moment.

15th min: With Serge Gnabry giving Germany the lead in the other game in Group E, this is how the table looks as things stand:

11th min: GOAL FOR SPAIN! Cesar Azpilicueta curls in a sweet cross from the right and Alvaro Morata nods it past Shuichi Gonda from close range.

That’s his third goal in three games in Qatar, and his 30th in all for his country. Vamos!

Watch the goal if you’re in the USA: 

Watch the goal if you’re in Canada:

8th min: Chance for Japan at the other end, after Sergio Busquets gives the ball away. Junya Ito and Daizen Maeda manoeuvre the ball to Ao Tanaka, but he can only find the side-netting from a tight angle.  

6th min: More evidence of the pace that Nico Williams will bring to this game. The Spain youngster sends a dangerous cross in looking for Alvaro Morata, but the striker is crowded out in the box.

5th min: Swift breakout from Japan and Takefusa Kubo gets to the right byline and cuts it back into a dangerous area, but Spain get it clear.

2nd min: Barcelona duo Gavi and Pedri combine sweetly in midfield to send Nico Williams away down the right flank, but the youngster gets too much on the cross and it evades everyone. 

1st min: We’re off!  

5 mins from kickoff: It’s Japan first, and now Germany… we’ll be underway very shortly.

10 mins from kickoff: The teams are coming onto the pitch and we’ll have the anthems shortly.

15 mins from kickoff: A reminder of the state of play in Group E heading into this decisive match at the Khalifa International Stadium.

A draw would almost certainly secure Spain’s passage to the Round of 16, while even defeat would probably still see La Roja qualify given their superior goal difference, barring a Costa Rica win over Germany.

A draw would not be enough for Japan if Germany beat Costa Rica in the other match in Group E by at least two goals. 

30 mins from kickoff: A few stats for you as we get closer to kickoff:

  • Spain have now scored in 23 straight games, a streak stretching back to June 2021 when they drew 0-0 with Sweden in the European Championship.
  • Spain have won eight of their last nine final group stage matches, though the exception to that did come in 2018 with a 2-2 draw to Morocco. 
  • Spain are unbeaten across their past seven World Cup outings, whilst Japan are looking to avoid consecutive goalless tournament displays for the first time since 1998. 

45 mins from kickoff: Japan have made five changes to the side which suffered a shock 1-0 defeat by Costa Rica in their second group game.

Shogo Taniguchi starts on the right side of a back three, Kunya Ito and Ao Tanaka come into the midfield and there are starts up front for Takefus Kubo and Daizen Meda.

But there is no Takumi Minamino or Kaoru Mitoma in the starting XV.

1hr from kickoff: These two sides have only ever met once before, with Spain taking a 1-0 victory in a friendly back in 2001.

Here’s a wee peak into the Spanish dressing room as we await confirmation of the Japan team.

1hr 15 mins from kickoff:  The Spain team is out! 

And there’s plenty to discuss. Five changes in all from the side which drew with Germany.

Cesar Azpilicueta returns at rightback, with Pau Torres and Alex Balde also starting in defence. There are also starts in attack for Alvaro Morata and Nico Williams.

Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres and Marco Asensio are the players to drop out.

2 hrs from kickoff: Morocco beat Canada 2-1 to qualify from Group F as winners, while Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Belgium sees them through as runners-up.

That means, whoever wins Group E will take on Croatia, while the runners-up will face Morocco.

2 hrs 30 mins from kickoff: Japan counting down to a huge game…

3 hrs 10 mins from kickoff: Halftime in the two games in Group F, which is where Japan and Spain’s potential opponents in the knockout stages will come from.

As things stand, Morocco will go through as group winners courtesy of a 2-1 win over Canada, while Croatia will follow them as runners-up after holding Belgium to a 0-0 draw.

3 hrs 45 mins from kickoff: This is just the second ever meeting between Spain and Japan, with the first having come in a friendly played in Cordoba in 2001.

That game ended 1-0 to Spain and was won by a 90th-minute Ruben Baraja goal. 

4 hrs 15 mins from kickoff: Will Alvaro Morata get a start in this match? He scored off the bench against Costa Rica and Germany and will be keen to prove himself in the starting 11 as Spain begin to look towards the knockouts.

4 hrs 45 mins from kickoff: We haven’t seen much of Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu for Japan in this World Cup and he did not get into the Costa Rica match. But in a do-or-die match against Spain for qualification he wants to play through the groin issue he’s dealing with.

5 hrs from kickoff: The referee of this game officiated the Africa Cup of Nations final where he offered Mo Salah his whistle and cards for the Egypt captain to call the game.

Japan vs Spain lineups, team news

Despite Takehiro Tomiyasu’s insistence he’s fine to play through a groin issue, manager Hajime Moriyasu resists the temptation to bring in the Arsenal defender.

Shogo Taniguchi does come into a back three, and there are four other changes from the side beaten by Costa Rica.

Kunya Ito and Ao Tanaka come into midfield and there are starts up front for Takefus Kubo and Daizen Meda.

Japan (3-4-3, right to left): Japan (3-4-3, right to left): 12. Gonda (GK) — 3. Taniguchi, 4. Itakura, 22. Yoshida — 5. Nagatomo, 3. Morita, 14. Ito, 17. Tanaka — 15. Kamada, 11. Kubo, 25. Maeda.

Despite reports suggesting Gavi and Rodri might be rested, both players start although Luis Enrique has made five changes to his starting XI after the 1-1 draw with Germany.

Cesar Azpilicueta returns at rightback, with Pau Torres and Alex Balde also starting in defence.

There are also starts in attack for Alvaro Morata and Nico Williams, with Dani Olmo retaining his place despite going the full 90 in the first two group matches.

Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres and Marco Asensio are the players to drop out.

Spain (4-3-3, right to left): 23. Simon (GK) — 2. Azpilicueta, 16. Rodri, 4. Pau, 14. Balde — 9. Gavi, 5. Busquets, 26. Pedri — 12. Williams, 7. Morata, 21. Olmo

Japan vs Spain live stream, TV channel

This final Group E match will be played at the Khalifa International Stadium. Here’s how you can watch all the action in some of the major global territories.

  Date Time TV Channel Streaming
USA Thu, Dec 1 14:00 ET Fox,
Fox Sports site/app,
Telemundo Deportes site/app,
Canada Thu, Dec 1 14:00 ET TSN 2, CTV, RDS (French) TSN site/app,
CTV app
RDS app
UK Thu, Dec 1 19:00 GMT ITV 4, STV ITVX, STV Player
Australia Fri, Dec. 2 06:00 AEDT SBS SBS On Demand
India Fri, Dec 2 00:30 IST Sports 18 Voot, JioTV
Hong Kong Fri, Dec 2 03:00 HKT Now TV (Ch. 616, 618) Now TV
Malaysia Fri, Dec 2 03:00 MYT Astro FIFA World Cup 1 Astro GO
Singapore Fri, Dec 2 03:00 SGT StarHub TV FIFA World Cup, Singtel FIFA World Cup 142 Singtel TV GO, CAST,
StarHub TV+, MeWatch
New Zealand Fri, Dec. 2 08:00 NZDT Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports Sky Go, Sky Sport NOW

Watch the match on fuboTV in USA:

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