Three things we learned from Spain’s 2-1 defeat to Japan in World Cup

Spain suffered a 2-1 defeat to Japan in Group E on Thursday but go through to the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup on goal difference.

1 | Luis Enrique trusts the younger players in Spain squad

Luis Enrique made five changes to the Spain side for the clash with Japan. The Asturian head coach dropped Ferran Torres and Jordi Alba and gave Nico Williams his first World Cup start. Pedri (20) Gavi (18) Alejandro Balde (19) Williams (20) all started for La Roja in their final group game.

2 | Japan can cause upsets

Japan topped Group E, a group with Spain, Germany and Costa Rica. Germany have failed again and have been knocked out of the tournament, but Japan have beaten both Spain and Germany to win the group and will be a test for Croatia in the last 16.

3 | Spain fail to show courage

Luis Enrique said that Spain “were not going to be afraid and would take risks” in this World Cup. His side failed to show courage in the second half against Germany and in their defeat to Japan on Thursday night.

Despite advancing to the round of 16, Spain have been poor in the last one-and-a-half games.

GSFN | Kieran Quaile

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