The reason why Spain is worried even after qualifying in Qatar 2022

Concerns over Spain defeat to Japan

Concerns over Spain defeat to Japan

All the hope that Luis Enrique's team could win the World Cup in Qatar was put to test on Thursday night by Spain's shocking loss to Japan. After crushing Costa Rica by seven unreplied goals and shutting down Germany, Spain was on fire. The attacking strenght of the team was never in doubt and the team was praised for its cohesion. 

However, old worries about playing out from the back, being exposed by pace on the break, and passing around teams but never breaking through their horded defenses have returned to plague Spain. Although it didn't cost them against Costa Rica, some people think that their addiction to danger at the back and their tendency to attack in one way could hurt them now as the competition heats up in the final rounds.

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That last-16 game will be against Morocco  but alarm bells are being raised by the collapse after falling behind to Japan and the inability to dismantle the opposition, and a physical Morocco team no longer appears to have such a simple path to the round of eight. Morocco has demonstrated their ability to hit teams on the break thus far in this World Cup.

Spain's high defensive line is now feared to suffer the same fate as their dedication to playing out and many people are more worried about Unai Simon's high-risk play. The Spain goalkeeper made an error against Croatia during the Euros last year when a Pedri back pass rolled over his foot, but he has since stated that he has no plans to alter his approach.


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Spain may not change that and and competitors might take the high-intensity press of Japan as a model. Similar to the absence of an alternative attack strategy, the lack of freshness from the bench is now an issue. There was no huge center-forward available for Barcelona to turn to when they couldn't overcome Japan's fierce low-block in the last quarter of the game.

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