The Spanish team has secured a medal at these Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after beating Japan in extra time with a solitary goal by Marco Asensio. The script for the match for Spain was the same as in previous days: a lot of ball control, a lot of possession, horizontal passes, a slow and very predictable pace of play, few chances and no goal. In the first 45 minutes nothing happened, it could be classified as inconsequential, and as we have seen in these Olympic Games, the matches in Spain are resolved in the second half … or in extra time.
The second 45 minutes were just as tedious, worse as the minutes went by, Japan came up while Spain fell physically. The few cons and the balls to the back filtered by the Japanese were a headache for Eric García and Pau Torres, although fortunately the forwards failed to finish off on Unai Simón’s goal.
The moment of greatest tension was lived when the referee whistled a penalty from Yoshida on Mikel Merino after a Cucurella cross, but after the VAR review the Peruvian referee rectified since it was the Spanish player who hit the leg of the Japanese defender first. Immediately Luis de la Fuente gave the team fresh air with the entry of Carlos Soler and Javi Puado, previously Vallejo had entered the break to replace Óscar Gil who saw the yellow in the first quarter of an hour.
The Spanish team was regaining control of the game and the ball but without bothering the Japanese who found their best weapon in long balls. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Luis de la Fuente’s boys advanced lines and arrived with more ease and danger but with the same problems to pierce the rival goal. The referee whistled the end without the score moving and the game went to extra time, the second of the two teams.
When penalties seemed inevitable, Oyarzabal and Asensio appeared again, the same as against Australia. Mikel’s assistance for Marco who sent the ball to the back of the net and gave the team a pass to the grand final against Brazil. Luis de la Fuente’s boys will return to Spain with a medal around their neck, on the 7th we will know if it is gold or silver.