GERMANS are furious after a controversial call in Japan’s win over Spain sent them packing.

Japan advanced to the World Cup knockouts thanks to a highly controversial winning goal.

Japan defeated Spain 2-1 to reach the last-16 of the World Cup


Japan defeated Spain 2-1 to reach the last-16 of the World CupCredit: EPA
Kaoru Mitoma's cross for their winner appeared to be out of play before VAR intervened to rule it was still in


Kaoru Mitoma’s cross for their winner appeared to be out of play before VAR intervened to rule it was still inCredit: AP

La Roja had taken the lead through Alvaro Morata and appeared to be cruising into the last-16 along with the Germans as they led Costa Rica in the other Group E game.

However, Japan staged a stunning comeback after the break as Ritsu Doan’s powerful strike drew them level.

Then Ao Tanaka turned the scoreline and group on its head to put his side ahead in remarkable fashion.

The cross that led to his goal looked from some angles to have crossed the byline, which would have led to it being disallowed and a goalkick being awarded.

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The on-field officials initially ruled it had gone out of play before Tanaka scored, but VAR corrected the decision.

The technology proved that the ball had been kept in play by just a few millimetres before Kaoru Mitoma pulled it back from his team-mate to tap in – although no clear evidence as to how they reached the decision has yet been provided.

Pictures appear to show that the ball was over – and there were few players questioning the ref after he initially disallowed it.

Prior to the VAR check, ITV commentator Ally McCoist said: “I think the ball went out, I thought the ball went out.


“It’s a tremendous ball again, puts it in behind the back ball, tremendous cross…”

Then as he watched it in slow-motion, the Scotland legend added: “Yes, yep [over the line]. Doan, what an impact he’s made, dear me.

“They’re checking it. That first angle looks like it just went over the line but they’re taking their time and so they should… He’s given the goal. Unbelievable. 

“That is absolutely amazing it is, I thought for all intents and purposes, I thought it was out, obviously not they’ve scrutinised through VAR.

“Again, I’m not sure Simon covers himself in glory but what a turnaround.”

Japan held on to clinch a 2-1 victory and claim top spot in the group, meaning Germany, who beat Costa Rica 4-2, were eliminated as Spain clung on to second via goal difference.

However, despite technology proving that the ball was still in play, some fans were still left fuming over the decision.

One tweeted: “Surely VAR has failed again. That ball for Japan’s second goal looked out. VAR will struggle to get out of the group stage.”

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Another said: “Not sure how VAR has given that Japan goal. Whole of the ball looked out.”

While a fellow fan wrote: “How’s that second Japan goal stood. VAR is a great laugh.”

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