The ball crossed from the back by Mitoma is in the field only for a matter of millimetres. Valid goal. And Fifa has confirmed it

    In or out? Observing Japan-Spain, the first impression is that the ball went off the field on the occasion of Mitoma’s cross who, with Rodri intent on claiming the goal kick, allows Tanaka to place the ball to make it 2-1 with an unguarded goal.

    In the Var room it took them more than three minutes to resolve the doubt: the ball is inside. But if it’s inside it’s for a millimeter, maybe two. A trifle, then. Which a shot from above confirms. And that Fifa welcomes as its own. The goal promotes Japan, victorious (2-1) with first place (in the round of 16 they will face Croatia) and Spain, although defeated, as runners-up, at the expense of Germany, whose 4-2 over Costa Rica is useless.


    And here begins another film. Film already seen at the World Cup. So much so that the matches of the third round of the elimination rounds have been played at the same time since in Gijon, during the 1982 Spanish review, West Germany and Austria stopped playing after the German advantage. The 1-0 final allowed the winners and losers to progress through the group at the expense of Algeria, who had beaten the Germans (2-1) in their debut. From the Spanish World Cup to the 2004 European Championship and the “tacit agreement” between Denmark and Sweden. The 2-2 gained in the Nordic derby eliminated Italy, even though they beat Bulgaria (2-1). Here, the impression is that Spain, down 2-1 with Japan, beyond the immediate offensive substitutions with the additions of Ferran Torres, Asensio and Ansu Fati, have reasoned. It was decided that Morocco would certainly be a tough opponent in the following round – eliminating a customer like Germany anyway – but not as tough as Croatia. Just as, going further, in the quarterfinals – finishing second – she would have avoided Brazil, moreover going to enter the more “affordable” part of the scoreboard (on paper). First Morocco, then possibly Portugal and only in the semifinal (theoretically) one between England and France. The Spaniards will reject any “accusation”. Especially from the Germans. But the doubt appears at least well founded.