[2022 카타르 월드컵] Japan’s national football team takes on Spain for the first time in Asia for the second consecutive round of 16.

[사진출처=연합뉴스]

[한국강사신문 한상형 기자] According to Yonhap News, Japan announced that it will challenge to advance to the round of 16 for two consecutive FIFA World Cups for the first time as a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Japan will play Spain in the 3rd leg of Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on December 2 at 4:00 am (Korea time).

Japan (ranked 24th in the FIFA rankings), who record 1 win and 1 loss, can expect to progress to the round of 16 only if they draw at least with Spain that day. In Group E, Spain (7th in FIFA rankings) 1 win and 1 draw, Japan and Costa Rica 1 win and 1 loss, Germany (11th in FIFA rankings) 1 draw and 1 loss. While all four teams have a chance to progress to the round of 16, Japan will be eliminated if they lose to Spain that day.

If there is a tie, Germany and Costa Rica, held at the same time, will end in a tie, or Germany will win by one goal and then compete with Japan on several points to give Japan hope for the round of 16 .

Of course, if Japan beat Spain, they can advance to the round of 16 on their own. If Japan progress to the round of 16 of this tournament, they will be the first AFC member nation to reach the round of 16 for two consecutive World Cups.

Before 1986, when the World Cup was held as a round of 16 tournament after the group stage, no AFC country had advanced to the World Cup finals twice in a row.

There are only three instances of AFC member countries progressing to the round of 16: Saudi Arabia (1994), Korea (2002/2010), and Japan (2002/2010/2018).

Japan got a fresh start by defeating the ‘Tank Corps’ Germany 2-1 in the first game of this tournament, but were held 0-1 in the second game against Costa Rica.

Even if it’s a draw against Spain, Germany will be eliminated if they beat Costa Rica by more than two goals, so a Japan win against Spain is the only bigger ’round of 16 answer’ or less.

In addition, Japan also competes with Korea for the record of most wins in the World Cup finals by an Asian country. Korea and Japan had the most wins among the AFC nations with six wins each until the second round of the group stage of this tournament.

South Korea has 6 wins, 10 draws and 20 losses, while Japan has 6 wins, 5 draws and 12 losses.

In the third round of the group stage of this tournament, South Korea played against Portugal and Japan played against strong European players like Spain, so the possibility of adding a multiplier is not high.

Germany, beaten by Japan in the first match, were held to a 0-1 draw in the second match with Spain and then a 1-1 draw.

Belgium, who are second in FIFA Group F, will take on Croatia, who are second in the 2018 Russian tournament, to progress to the round of 16.

Belgium, who lost 0-2 in the second leg against Morocco and have a record of 1 win and 1 loss, have to beat Croatia on the same day to take advantage of the possibility of the round of 16.

Croatia and Morocco each have 1 win and 1 draw. With Morocco playing the third group game against Canada, who have already been eliminated, Belgium must beat Croatia to increase their chances of progressing to the round of 16.

With rumors of discord within the team circulating, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said in a press conference on the 29th, “There is no internal problem,” and it began to evolve.

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