MARC Guiu was the hero again for Spain at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup Indonesia 2023 as the Barcelona star netted a 74th-minute winner to sink a stubborn Japan side.
Spain made good its dominant start and found the net after just eight minutes.
Juan Hernandez played a pass to Guiu who miscontrolled on the edge of the area, but the ball ran through to Quim Junyent who made no mistake in finding the bottom-left corner.
Despite a rocky start, Japan inched their way back into the contest and deservedly drew level five minutes before the break.
Ryunosuker Sato did well to rob Dani Munoz of possession in the left-back spot before picking out Gaku Nawata, whose delightfully curled leveller rendered Raul Jimenez a mere spectator in the Spain goal.
La Rojita recovered well from that setback, though, and dominated for large parts of the second half.
Substitute Paulo Iago came close when he fired a shot off the bar from a tight angle after some penalty-box pinball.
The Europeans would eventually make their dominance count, when Guiu was sent through by a sumptuous Junyent pass and slotted beyond Wataru Goto with consummate ease.
Spain, who continue their 100 per cent record at the last-16 stage, will now face either USA or Germany in the last 16.
Meanwhile, Japan head home at this stage for a fourth successive tournament. (NAN)
-Nov. 17, 2023 @ 17:17 GMT |