The group stage match between Japan and Spain gave much to talk about, and not only because of the Japanese team's 2-1 victory, but also because of how that result came about. 'La Roja' had managed to get ahead on the scoreboard with a goal from Álvaro Morata in the 11th minute of play. However, the Japanese team managed to react at the beginning of the second half and Ritsu Dōan scored the equalizer in minute 48.
With the score even, the 51st minute was running and Japan was attacking. After a lateral assist, Mitoma received the ball at the far post and tried to herd it to prevent it from going over the end line. Immediately afterwards he handed it to Tanaka who only had to push the ball into the back of the net. At first, the goal that left Spain with water around its neck was annulled by the referee Victor Gomes. However, the VAR notified him immediately and ended up ruling that the ball had not completely left the field and that the goal went up to the scoreboard.
After this decision, the networks were flooded with photographs and videos trying to explain why the goal had been legal. Despite the fact that in some images it seemed that the ball had completely left the field, according to VAR technology and that incorporated into the balls themselves, part of the circumference coincided with the lime line, therefore, according to the regulations, the ball was considered to be still within the field of play. On these occasions, the image must be analyzed from above, since it is the most accurate way to determine if the ball is outside or inside the playing area.
This controversial action led Japan to take the lead and finally win the match 2-1. After beating Germany and Spain, the Japanese qualified for the next round as group leaders. Next Monday they will face Croatia in the round of 16 match, while Morocco will be Spain's rival, having qualified as second.
Germany, for their part, won their match against Costa Rica 2-4, but it was not enough to get them through to the round of 16. Although Costa Rica was classified for a moment, they were also eliminated. Hansi Flick's team has given the great surprise of this World Cup in Qatar, and for the second time in a row they return home without having passed the first round.