• World Cup 2022

Did Spain lose to Japan to eliminate Germany from World Cup?

Cesar Azpilicueta - Spain
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La Roja qualified to the last-16 round despite their unexpected defeat against Japan.

Cesar Azpilicueta has responded to claims that Spain intentionally lost to Japan in their last group-stage match.

Germany crashed out of the World Cup despite beating Costa Rica 4-2. Die Mannschaft would’ve qualified for the next round if Spain had avoided defeat against Japan.

La Roja went ahead through Alvaro Morata‘s goal in the first half. However, a quick comeback from Japan in the second half saw the Samurai Blues reach the next round as the Group E leaders.

“I was aware in the second half [of the Germany score]; I was on the bench so I was aware of the situation,” Azpilicueta said.

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“If they look at our group the last couple of years we always give everything and we go out of the pitch to win every game, to press every ball.

“We have been punished from just scoring a goal and then conceding straight away so that’s the way we play. We are the first disappointed to not win the game so you can see what happened.”

He added: “It was difficult because it is something that you cannot control, the other game.

So the only thing we could do was to try to give confidence and to help our teammates to win our game. 

“We knew that a draw or a win we would qualify. That’s the only thing we could control.”