- Spain lost 2-1 to Japan in their final group game to finish second ahead of Germany
- La Roja were likely spared from elimination by Die Mannschaft's win over Costa Rica
- Spain coach Luis Enrique says he refuses to celebrate advancing because of their loss
Group E produced the biggest drama so far in the final rounds of the group games, but in the end, Japan and Spain head out of the group as winner and runners-up respectively.
La Roja lost their game 2-1 to the Samurai Blue despite going ahead first, and for some 13 minutes when Costa Rica was leading against Germany, they could have been eliminated.
All four teams still had a chance to qualify going into the final games. Japan did themselves good by winning and not needing help, but Spain needed Germany's help and got it.
Germany also needed Spain's help with at least a draw but La Roja fell to a defeat and despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica, Die Mannschaft were eliminated.
Exciting feature: Check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ find "Recommended for you" block and enjoy!
Luis Enrique not celebrating defeat
Spain head coach Luis Enrique said he is not celebrating his team's qualification for the next round, because it was tainted by their humbling by the Japanese.
Enrique, speaking after the game in a video posted on Twitter by Football Daily, said he never celebrates defeats.
''I am not happy at all... I don't have anything to celebrate. Yes, we are qualified and would have loved to be on top of the group, and of course now brackets change and many things are different now with our position in the group. So I have nothing to celebrate,'' he said.
Enrique unaware of Spain's elimination
Sports Brief earlier reported that Enrique said he was not aware Spain were eliminated briefly, after Costa Rica took the lead against Germany for some 13 minutes.
Kai Havertz came off the bench to score two goals and restore Die Mannschaft's lead. If the result had stayed that way, both Germany and Spain would have been eliminated.
La Roja will face African nation Morocco, who topped a group including the 2nd and 3rd teams of the 2018 World Cup: Croatia and Belgium.
Source: Sports Brief News