Espaa ran head-on into Japan’s applied defensive system. The Japanese unleashed two blows at the beginning of the second half and reinforced that offensive inspiration with a tactical discipline built on an intense withdrawal and permanent pressure in their own half.
Spain got bogged down in attack. He hardly created any danger and wobbled for a good part of the second half when Japan took to running. Here are some of the tactical keys that can explain the reasons for the defeat of Luis Enrique’s men at this end of the group stage.
The cap on Busquets at the start
Rodri played center back but acted as a pivot in the absence of Busquets, who came into play little and badly. Japan defended in their own half with a 5-3-2 pattern in which the midfielder and forwards crowded into the central zone, nullifying any option of building through the Spanish 5.
Few spaces and accumulation of troops
Japan reduced the field to 20 meters. With the equipment sunk, but without entering the area, The Japanese made Pedri and Gavi disappear, with no space to barely control and turn between the line of five defenders and the line of three midfielders for Japan. Without success in the overflow of Dani Olmo and Nico Williams, and neither after Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres, the game went into very small spaces, too much to be able to combine. It is worth the data of the central defenders of Spain: today: Rodri gave 215 passes and Pau Torres 190. Just what Japan was looking for.
the absence of a nine
Morata’s change, in the eyes of the general public, finds a difficult justification. With a locked Japan, Spain was condemned to enter from the outside and put lateral centers. The one from Atlético is the only one capable of prevailing on that stage. He did it in the only goal for Spain against a team that, by the way, suffers from above. Luis Enrique will have his reasons and has more information than anyone, of course, but in the scenario that was presented in the final stretch of the game it is difficult to understand what led the Spaniard to remove Morata from the field of play.
The departure from Spain, a risk that Japan knew
The rivals begin to find a way to put Luis Enrique’s men in trouble. La Roja’s obsession with going out with the ball played from behind, whatever the situation, turned against him in the equalizing goal. Unai put Balde in a compromise, which he did not resolve well. The end result is known to all. But in the error of Spain the virtue of Japan rosewhich goes up a gear in its pressure when it was in advanced positions.