Japan comes back to beat Spain, finish top of group in incredible fashion – NBC Sports

Japan came back from a goal down at halftime to beat Spain 2-1 and finish top of the group in truly stunning, heart-stopping fashion at the 2022 World Cup on Thursday.
WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY
Ahead of matchday 3 in Group E, the simplest math was as follows: a German win, plus a Japanese loss (to Spain), would see the 2014 world champions jump from 4th to 2nd and avoid a second straight World Cup group-stage exit.
The first part of that equation seemed to be going relatively straightforward, as Serge Gnabry opened the scoring in the 10th minute. A minute later in the other game, Alvaro Morata put Spain ahead and Germany were going through as things stood. But, Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka struck twice in six minutes to start the second half and overturn the deficit to a European giant, just as they did against Germany in the opener.
[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]
Then, something even more unthinkable happened: Costa Rica equalized, and then they went ahead. At that point, they were going through as runners-up. That lasted for all of three minutes, until Kai Havertz lifted the ball over Keylor Navas to make it 2-2. Havertz struck again 12 minutes later to make it 3-2, and give Germany a small glimmer of hope — that Spain might equalize and save Germany from elimination, but they never did.
In the end, Japan (6 points) advance as Group E winners, joined by Spain (4) in the round of 16.
[ MORE: Latest Group E standings, schedule, scores ]
Kick off: 2pm ET, Thursday (December 1)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Spain were at their brilliant best as they put seven goals past Los Ticos in their opener, before coughing up a late lead and settling for a 1-1 draw with the desperate Germans in game no. 2. All in all, it’s been a good start to the World Cup for Luis Enrique’s exciting, young side. Six different attacking players have scored a goal for Spain, with Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres the only ones to find the back of the net twice thus far.
As for Japan, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions this World Cup. Their comeback victory over Germany in the opener seemed to signal their arrival in a new tier on the world’s biggest stage, before falling flat on their faces in a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, who had conceded seven goals just four days earlier. Instead of clinching their place in the round of 16 with a win, Japan need at least a draw from their toughest group game in order to move on.
The starting XIs for #JPN and #ESP #FIFAWorldCup | #Qatar2022
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2022

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Daichi Kamada
Current FIFA world ranking: 7
World Cup titles: 1 (2010)
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Luis Enrique
Key players: Rodri, Pedri, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba
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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League is back with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.
Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest though Newcastle is not going away and Manchester United has surged into contention.
The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle, while Liverpool is struggling to stay in the Champions League scrap. Chelsea has some work to do while surprising Fulham and Brighton are hanging around on the periphery and are having fine campaigns.
Everton, West Ham, and Southampton currently occupy the relegation places.
But Leicester, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy start.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.
 

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The Premier League Fan Fest is heading to Orlando, Florida, as the entire Premier League Mornings Live team will be at Universal for what promises to be an epic weekend.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA
Our latest Fan Fest will take place on January 21-22, 2023 and will see Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe, Robbie Earle, Tim Howards, plus plenty of special guests, based at the Universal Resort in Orlando for the entire weekend.
What’s not to love about Florida in January? It will be one heck of a party in the Sunshine State.
Below are more details on the event.

Manchester City host Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday as both teams need to show a big reaction after derby defeats at the weekend.
STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER CITY v TOTTENHAM
Pep Guardiola’s City were beaten 2-1 at Manchester United in controversial fashion as they lost more ground on Premier League leaders Arsenal. City have lost two games in a row in all competitions and just haven’t looked like themselves since the World Cup break. Even Erling Haaland has stopped scoring goals.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham are really struggling for confidence and after their defeat at home against north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday, they are well off the top four and need a big result to reignite belief. Spurs continue to start games slowly and put themselves in tough situations and they’ve now lost five of their last nine Premier League outings.
Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Tottenham.


Kick off: 3pm ET, Thursday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Erling Haaland has gone three games without a goal in all competitions, while Kevin de Bruyne is doing his best to carry City and did superbly to set up Jack Grealish’s goal at Manchester United. City look suspect defensively as full backs Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo are struggling to contain wingers from getting in-behind. Rodri continues to be a baller.
Harry Kane is trying to do it all on his own for Spurs, while Heung-min Son is bang out of form and Hugo Lloris made a huge error against Arsenal in the NLD. At least Tottenham have Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur back fit and that will give them extra quality in the final third. Also, this is worth noting: Tottenham have won four of their last five PL games against Manchester City.
John Stones and Ruben Dias are back in training but this game may come too soon for them. Jack Grealish and Julian Alvarez are pushing for starts and don’t be surprised if Rico Lewis starts at right back.
Bentancur is back, which is a huge boost, while Lucas Moura is the only injury issue for Tottenham. With a full squad to choose from, will Antonio Conte go for a more attacking lineup against City? Probably not. He will set them up to be dangerous on the counter.


 
Michael Olise scored perhaps the free kick of the season to give Crystal Palace a share of the points and a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
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Manchester United led 1-0 from the 44th minute onward, after Bruno Fernandes hammered the ball past Vicente Guaita to open the scoring. The Red Devils had a handful of key chances to double their lead and put the game to bed, but their finishing was poor (just four of 15 shots on target).
Erik ten Hag’s side so nearly escaped with the three points, though, as David de Gea made three saves with the score still 1-0 in the second half. That was, until Olise uncorked his stunning strike from nearly 25 yards out at a tight angle well wide of the goal.
De Gea covered a large amount of ground as he scrambled across the face of goal and dove high toward his left-hand post, but the ball dipped under the crossbar at the last possible moment. De Gea could get nowhere near it, as the 21-year-old midfielder wheeled away and south London erupted.
A victory would have sent Manchester United (39 points – 3rd place) above two-time defending champions and rivals Manchester City, thanks in part to their derby triumph on Saturday, but instead the draw leaves them level on points and the blue half of the city on top via goal difference (+28 to +8). Crystal Palace (23 points), meanwhile, remain 12th in the Premier League table, now just five points off the top half of the table and eight points clear of the relegation zone.
WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


For years, Manchester United’s top priority during transfer windows should have been a world-class defensive midfielder to make the side more stable and consistent on both sides of possession. Yet, for years, the directors ignored the no. 6 altogether and signed one flashy, expensive attacker after another. Some of those stars scored goals, some didn’t, but one constant was that Man United’s defense being overrun by greater, equal and lesser opposition.
Now, with Casemiro camped at the base of midfield, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez forming a solid partnership at center back behind him, and Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen pulling the strings in front of the Brazilian, Manchester United’s spine is the best it’s been since the side was built around Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Paul Scholes.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013, Manchester United have been, with the brief exception of the “good times” of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, been very easy to play against and through, and to beat. That is no longer the case, with the Red Devils’ spine now becoming the side’s strength.
Erik ten Hag, on the result…
“We dropped two points. When you’re winning with two minutes to go…
“They don’t create anything except one which was a corner and this one was a free-kick from far. You don’t expect to drop points. We have to invest more to get that second goal and then not be in that situation that a lucky moment costs you two points.
“We were 1-0 up. In the second half, we had a lot of space to kill them and go for the second. I never saw we really went for the second goal.
“It’s difficult to say [why]. I have to criticize my team. Go for the second. Bruno and Rashy on the wings, Garnacho, a lot of creativity, speed and power, and McTominay with penetration behind.
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Kick off: 3pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Palace have looked a little sluggish in attack in recent weeks as they’ve lost four of their last five games and have failed to score in all four of those defeats. Patrick Vieira has all of his attacking options available and it seems like he just isn’t getting the right players out there together. Palace need a big win to kick-start their season because teams below them are starting to pick up victories and the Eagles no longer look comfortable in midtable. Vicente Guaita was excellent against Chelsea and Wilfried Zaha needs to recapture his brilliant early-season form.
United are surging and Marcus Rashford is the man of the moment. He has scored seven goals in his last six games and has been on fire since returning from the World Cup. Casemiro is dominating midfield, Bruno Fernandes is dictating play and Luke Shaw has been a revelation as a left-sided center back. This is the best United have looked in a long time and Erik ten Hag knows they still have a lot of improvement left in the tank. That is the most pleasing thing for United when it comes to this long winning run. They haven’t got close to top gear yet but they’re finding a way to grind out wins and look so solid defensively.
James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson remain out injured, while Joachim Andersen is a doubt after picking up a knock against Chelsea. That could mean USMNT defender Chris Richards coming in for his first start in the Premier League.
Our starting XI for tonight 👊
🤝 @shophumm #CPFC | #CRYMUN
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 18, 2023

Donny van de Beek is ruled out for the season after his knee injury, while Jadon Sancho remains out but he is working on his recovery. Red-hot Marcus Rashford should shake off a hip issue, while Diogo Dalot is not being risked as he recovers from a thigh injury. Wout Weghorst could make his United debut after his loan move from Burnley. We are about to see how strong this United squad is as Erik ten Hag will need to rotate a little, and especially ahead of their huge game against Arsenal on Sunday.
🚨 Tonight’s team news is in — and there’s a United debut for Wout Weghorst! 🇳🇱#MUFC || #CRYMUN
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 18, 2023


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