Japan recorded ball possession of 17% and still won against Spain by 2-1

Japan recorded ball possession of 17% but still win against Spain

An unbelievable stat that came from last night’s Group E fixture between Japan and Spain shocked the whole world. The final result going in favor of Japan was of course one of them but their ball possession rate of only 17% set a new record in this World Cup.

17% ball possession is officially the lowest possession figure ever recorded in the entirety of FIFA World Cup. Almost every stat from Japan’s camp was lower than Spain’s but the only thing that matters in a game like this is how many goals you can score.

The Japanese team came with a zeal to produce another upset in this World cup filled with surprise packages and they delivered. It was Spain who took the lead early on in the 11th minute with Alvaro Morata heading the ball in to the goal in his very first start of the World cup.

Morata’s opening goal against Japan was his third of this edition and he is now the joint highest scorer until now. Gavi and Pedri were constantly penetrating inside the Japanese defense but the strikers up front couldn’t find the back of the net for the second time.

Before losing to Japan, La Roja were unbeaten in their last 16 World cup matches when leading at half-time with 14 wins and 2 draws. Since 2002, it was for the first time that Spain lost against an Asian side and they were also unbeaten in their last group stage match for each of their last 9 participations.

The tables started to turn as soon as the second-half began. Japan’s hero against Germany Ritsu Doan did the unthinkable once again within just 3 minutes into the second 45 minutes. Doan came on as a substitute and became a super sub after seizing the ball at the edge of the box and fired a strong left footed shot into the top left corner of the goal. Unai Simon did get to touch the ball but it was just too strong for him to make the save.

Exactly 142 seconds later Ritsu Doan came lashing onto the Spaniard box, drove the ball with his right to find Mitoma, who kept ball in play and Ao Tonaka provided the finishing touch to make it 2-1. It was a controversial decision by VAR as the on-field referee judged the ball to have gone out of play in the build up. However, a subsequent VAR check went against the referees original decision.

In the 89th minute, Marco Asensio was the only Spaniard to take a shot on goal since the 23rd minute. Once the final whistle blew, Japan’s resilience was rewarded with a finish on top of their group (E) for the first time since 2002. With this historical win, they became only the third team in the history of World cup to stage 2 second-half wins after trailing in the first 45 minutes. Brazil were the first to do so in 1938 while Germany became the second in 1970.

Also Read – 3 reasons why Germany exited from the Group stages of FIFA World cup 2022