Can Japan stop Spain’s unstoppable attack in the final group game?

Japan Women vs Spain Women | July 31

Can Japan stop Spain’s unstoppable attack in the final group game?

Japan and Spain end their group stage campaign at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Sky Stadium on Monday (July 31). Both teams are already through to the knockouts, making this Group C game a direct battle for top spot.

The Japanese kicked off their campaign with a comprehensive 5-0 win over debutants Zambia. They then dispatched Costa Rica 2-0 last week, with Hikoba Naomoto and Aoba Fujino scoring first-half goals.

Spain, meanwhile, saw off Costa Rica 3-0 in their opener. They then thrashed Zambia 5-0 to book their spot in the Round of 16, with Jenifer Hermoso and Ana Maria Ferrer bagging braces.

Key Numbers

  • This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides, with Spain winning thrice and drawing the other.
  • Their most recent meeting in November 2022 saw the Iberians claim a 1-0 win.
  • Japan are looking to register a World Cup win against a nation ranked inside the top 10 for the first time since July 2015.
  • Spain are on an eight-game winning streak, keeping a clean sheet seven times, including the last six.
  • None of Japan’s last 13 World Cup group games have ended in a scoring draw.
  • Jenifer Hermoso’s last 25 competitive international goals for Spain have come in wins with clean sheets.
  • Japan have qualified for the World Cup knockouts in the last four editions.

Spain were arguably the most in-form team heading into the Mundial. Jorge Vilda’s side have continued their rich vein of form as they attempt to make go all the way. Their form has been inspired by an imperious attack that has scored 29 goals without reply in six games, but the clash with Japan represents a significantly bigger test.

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