Al Rayyan [Qatar], December 2 (ANI): Spain struck early through Alvaro Morata to take a 1-0 lead against Japan at the end of the first half in a Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Morata found the back of the net for Spain in the 12th minute after he went airborne to head the ball off a cross from right-back Cesar Azpilicueta to put the Spanish team ahead.
The 2010 World Cup winners dominated the first half as they enjoyed an overwhelming possession of the ball and kept things tight with immaculate passes and skilful play in the midfield.
Japan was under pressure from the word go as they hardly found possession and could not breach the Spanish defence in the limited opportunities that came their way.
Spain took lead in the 12th minute and from thereon, Japan chased a lot in the game because it was all Spain in the last few minutes. The 2010 winners, on the other hand, did not appear to be threatening enough because they had all the patience in the world to keep the possession themselves.
Japan tried to break the shackle through a counter in the 27th minute but Daichi Kamada's run was early only to be flagged offside. The Japanese also made a challenge on Gavi that saw the play getting stopped for a while.
The Asian team tried to find an equalizer in the dying minutes of the half but were unable to get through the Spanish defence line.
Spain was the dominant side as they shared more possession and were able to take a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half.
Japan lead Group E with six points under their belt while Spain are placed second in the points table.
Both teams will look to go for the kill in the second half as a win will ensure a knockout place. (ANI)