Japan vs Spain: How VAR Decision Kicked Germany Out of World Cup 2022

Japan vs Spain: How VAR Decision Kicked Germany Out of World Cup 2022

Martin Moses
December 2, 2022 at 8:40 AM
  • The Spain versus Japan clash at the World Cup was marked by a very controversial Video Assistant Referee decision
  • Japan's second goal, which was initially disallowed, was given after VAR showed the goal was still in play prior to the goal
  • The goal proved decisive for Germany as they bowed out of the competition despite beating Costa Rica in their match

The football world is still reeling from shock after Germany, with all its star players, was eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage for the second consecutive tournament.

After a sluggish start to the campaign, Germany found their scoring boots against Costa Rica, but they still needed Spain to do them a favour by beating or holding Japan to a draw - a favour that became hard to come by due to a controversial Video Assistant Referee call.

Japan, Spain, World Cup 2022, Kaoru Mitoma, Germany, Ao Tanaka
The controversial images used to award Japan's second goal. Credit: B/R Football.
Source: Twitter

Alvaro Morata had put Spain on course for what looked like a routine victory for the Iberian nation.

However, Japan was planning another shocker, the same kind of upset and tactical ingenuity that Hajime Moriyasu exhibited when he marshalled his charges to a comeback victory over Germany.

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Three minutes after the break, Ritsu Doan restored parity just like he did against Die Mannschaft.

With Luis Enrique's side still fumbling with surprise, Ao Tanaka converted from close range, a goal that was immediately chalked off because the ball had gone off the pitch before the Brighton and Hove Albion sensation squared it back.

Well - according to the assistant referee.

Camera perception and angles

The VAR stepped in and overruled the pitchside referee. It is not immediately clear which camera angles Fernando Guerrero looked at. When you look at the incident from the side, the ball had completely gone over the line. But from the top, a part of the ball was still on the line.

ESPN reports that the goal-line camera was used to prove that a part of the ball was still on the line, making the goal valid. FIFA is yet to clarify the decision taken by the referee, as various images continue to show that the ball was out of play.

What is the way forward?

Multiple questions are bound to arise from the incident.

Which camera angles are supposed to be used to make such decisions? Had the incident been at the goal line, would the goal-line technology have given Japan the goal, or would it have been adjudged not to have crossed the line fully?

The lack of communication and explanation of referee decisions to fans and other important stakeholders, like the players and managers, remains a big obstacle.

But for now, Germany is going home as Japan prepares to face Croatia in the round of 16. Spain meanwhile, despite conceding the controversial goal, are through on goal difference and will play Morocco.

Japan shows guts

Sports Brief has also reported that Japan showed they have 'guts' to compete at the World Cup, according to the Samurai Blue defender Yuto Nagatomo on Thursday after they stunned Spain to reach the last 16.

Japan upset both Germany and Spain to finish top of Group E, digging deep to come from behind to grab gritty victories in both games.

Hajime Moriyasu's side will now face Croatia in the last 16, and Nagatomo believes they can pull off another shock against the 2018 World Cup finalists.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Editor- EPL I Serie A
World Cup