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'I have nothing to celebrate' - Luis Enrique left fuming by Japan defeat despite Spain's World Cup progression

20:13 WAT 02/12/2022
Luis Enrique
Spain manager Luis Enrique has said he is not happy after the defeat to Japan, despite Spain's progression to the knockout stages of the World Cup.

WHAT HAPPENED? Spain failed to win Group E thanks to a three-minute second-half turnaround that was completed by a controversial Ao Tanaka goal. The result meant Spain scraped through to the knockout stages ahead of Germany on virtue of goal difference. The performance was a far cry from the one Spain produced in the 7-0 win over Costa Rica, and the coach admitted that his team's collapse left him "annoyed".

WHAT THEY SAID: He continued to vent his frustration, saying at a press conference: "I have nothing to celebrate, I'm not at all happy. I wanted to be first in the group and win this match. I warned the players at half time that Japan would come out on top but we went into collapse mode. I repeat: I have nothing to celebrate."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite his warranted concerns, Spain are through to the knockout stages for the second consecutive World Cup after failing to get out of the group stages in the 2014 edition. Granted, it wasn't as plain-sailing or as comfortable as they would have liked, but the job was done.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SPAIN? They face Morocco, who have been one of the tournament's surprise packages thus far, in the round of 16 as they look to put the disappointment of losing to Japan behind them. A win would see them into the last eight for the first time since their victory in 2010.