Spain Lose to Japan with 82% Possession Total

Spain possession versus Japan: Is possession of the soccer ball all that important in a game? If you have 82% of the ball during the game you should win, right?

Not necessary…especially if you’re Japan. With just a 17.7% total possession of the ball, rounded up to 18%, Japan won their World Cup game with the lowest possession figure in recorded World Cup history.

Spain set a record for the most completed passes in a half during the World Cup in their first half versus Japan. Only to give away to goals and lose the game in the second.

Spain completed 530 passes during the first half of their matchup against Japan in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The talk at half time was just how many more passes they would get. There was no concern about wether they might lose the game.

Spain, and more so Barcelona and Pep Guardiola, are known for keeping the soccer ball. The tiki taka style of football where they lull the opposition to sleep with their passes.

With the likes of Pedri, Gavi and Busquests in the midfield – all of course Barcelona players – Spain doesn’t miss play a pass very often.

This is the second time that Japan have come back from a 1-0 half time score to win. They did it against Germany too. Japan are a quality team that never give up. I wouldn’t want to have to play them in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately for Croatia they do.

Spain lost their game to Japan while maintain 82% of the soccer ball. It’s just an amazing total to have and still lose. It will not make Spain change their style of play all of a sudden though! They will keep passes other teams to death.

In the long run, I think their possession game will win out. Don’t forget that Spain won the World Cup in 2010 with this same style of play. Spain possession versus Japan at 82% and losing will only make Spain pass more!

See highlights of the game and Spain possession versus Japan in the video below.

Japan and Spain faced off in their final group stage games. Álvaro Morata continued his hot start to the World Cup with his third goal by way of a header in 11’. Morata became the second Spanish player to score in his first three World Cup appearances since Telmo Zarra in 1950. Japan turned their fortune around in the second half when Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka scored within three minutes of each other. Spain had its chances late but none went through and Japan held on to win 2-1 and advances to the knockout stage in consecutive World Cups.