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Played
July 26, 2012 2:45 PM BST
Hampden Park — Glasgow
Referee:‬ M. Geiger‎
Attendance:‬ 37726‎
 
 
Yuki Otsu 34′

Spain 0-1 Japan: Otsu winner stuns 10-man La Roja as Inigo Martinez sees red

Some haphazard defending from Luis Milla's team cost them dear as the first-half strike gave the underdogs a dream start and provided the first big shock of the tournament

By Charlie Scott

 Yuki Otsu of Japan
Getty Images
Japan ran out shock 1-0 winners over 10-man Spain in the Olympic Group D fixture at Hampden Park in Glasgow, courtesy of a goal in the 34th minute from Yuki Otsu following some questionable defending from Martin Montoya.

Kensuke Nagai and Hiroshi Kiyotake could have made it a more comfortable win for Takashi Sekizuka's side as both wasted good chances either side of half-time, but their opponents struggled to trouble Shuichi Gonda in the Japan goal, particularly after Inigo Martinez's sending-off at the end of the first half.

Spain produced the first goalscoring opportunity of the game in the fourth minute when Juan Mata played in Rodrigo with a neat pass. The former Bolton striker shifted the ball onto his left foot before dragging a shot just wide 15 yards from goal.

Midway through the first half, Mata came close to breaking the deadlock with a swirling effort from distance, after cutting in from the right-hand side on to his favoured left foot, which Gonda did well to palm away to safety.

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Despite Spain's dominance of possession in the first 25 minutes, Japan looked dangerous on the break and grew in confidence as the half wore on, with their lone front-man, Kensuke Nagai, in particular proving a handful for the La Roja defence.

Japan took a surprise lead in the 34th minute through Otsu after he ghosted in at the back post to divert Takahiro Ogihara's inswinging corner from the left past a stranded David de Gea in the Spain goal. Right-back Martin Montoya's failure to pick the scorer up had gifted the chance to his opponent.

Sekizuka's side nearly increased their lead just minutes later when a terrible attempted back-pass from Alvaro Dominguez to De Gea went straight to Hiroshi Kiyotake inside the Spain penalty area. Kiyotake did well to jynx past the goalkeeper but, in doing so, took the ball far too wide for a clear shot on goal, and his eventual effort drifted harmlessly out.

Less than two minutes after their first booking (a Jordi Alba elbow), Spain were reduced to 10 men when Inigo Martinez was shown a straight red card by the referee, Mark Geiger, for obstructing a clear goalscoring opportunity for Nagai as the Japan striker broke towards the penalty area.

The leaders started the second half at a canter, with Keigo Higashi prompting a brilliant save from De Gea after curling a right-foot shot towards the top right corner from 20 yards out.

The Spanish defence was exposed once again shortly after, with Nagai coming within inches of making it 2-0 after latching on to a decent through-ball from Hotaru Yamaguchi on the right and slotting a right-footed effort just wide of the left-hand post. Kiyotake then shot wide from a similar position minutes later.

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Those two Japan chances appeared to spark Spain into life, and they began to move the ball forward with a far greater urgency, Montoya providing some much-needed width down the right and Mata beginning to dictate play from the centre of the pitch.

Despite the quality of their passing improving, Spain failed to create any clear-cut chances in the second half, with a firm Alba effort from an acute angle that Gonda deflected away the closest that they came to drawing level as Japan eased to victory.

The Japanese nearly added a confirmation goal in the dying moments of the game as the outstanding Nagai raced through and sent a left-footed shot goalwards which De Gea did superbly to keep out.

Both sides' next Group D fixture is on Sunday at the Sports Direct Arena, as Japan play Morocco at 16:00BST, while Spain take on Honduras later on in the afternoon at 18:45BST.


Spain U-23

1
David de Gea
Goalkeeper
3.50
15
2.00
6
1.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
40′
2.50
2
Montoya
Defender
2.00
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
3.00
6
Koke
Midfielder
81′
2.50
23
Isco
Midfielder
63′
2.00
7
Adrián
Striker
56′
2.50
19
Rodrigo
Striker
2.50
8
Juan Mata
Striker
3.00

Japan Under 23

2.00
20
Shuichi Gonda
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
2.50
2
3.00
4
2.50
4
3.50
3
3.00
-
Yuki Otsu
Midfielder
34′ 46′
2.50
38
Keigo Higashi
Midfielder
3.50
6
4.00
13
3.00
18

Substitutes

35
Diego Mariño
Goalkeeper
 - 
28
 - 
3
Botía
Defender
 - 
6
Oriol Romeu
Midfielder
63′
2.00
21
Ander Herrera
Midfielder
56′
 - 
19
Muniain
Striker
 - 
20
Tello
Striker
81′
1.50

Substitutes

 - 
27
Shunsuke Ando
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
2.50
2
2.50
4
 - 
39
Takashi Usami
Midfielder
 - 
20
2.50
11

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Matchday 1
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Leandro Damião Leandro Damião
Striker
Santos
6 0
Moussa Konaté Moussa Konaté
Striker
Genoa
5 0
O. Peralta O. Peralta
Striker
Santos Laguna
4 0
Giovani dos Santos Giovani dos Santos
Striker
Villarreal
3 1
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 1