Japan vs. Spain
August 3, 2021 7:00 am EDT
The Line: Over 2.5 +115, Under 2.5 -150
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Japan is hosting Spain at Saitama Stadium 2002 in the Olympics 2021 soccer tournament semifinals. Japan has been fantastic in this tournament so far, but it took the penalty shootout for them to knock out New Zealand in the quarterfinals. Spain has beaten Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals, but only after the overtime, despite all of their dominance.
Japan has won all 3 of their group stage games, and they have had another solid match against New Zealand in the quarterfinals. Japan has had 50% of ball possession, 6 shots on goal, 9 corner kicks, 3 big chances created, and 81% of the correct passes. Japan had a lot of shots on goal, but they just couldn’t score a goal, and this game went to overtime, and eventually, the penalty shootout. Japan was the better team in the shootout, and they are advancing to the semifinals. With 3 scored goals, Kubo has been Japan’s best player in this tournament. Japan has been really dangerous in this tournament, and they can create a chance out of nothing, while their defense has also been fantastic with only 1 conceded goal so far. If Japan is able to reach the finals, it would be a fantastic success for them since they are playing at home, and I think that is what is pushing this team forward.
Spain has won only 2 games in this tournament, while their other 3 games ended in a draw. Despite all of their dominance, Spain is ineffective in the attacking end, and they are struggling with scoring goals. In the regular time, Spain has scored only 3 goals so far, but they destroyed Ivory Coast in the overtime. Spain has had 71% of ball possession in that match, 8 shots on goal, 5 corner kicks, 5 big chances created, and a solid 89% of the correct passes. After conceding a goal in the 10th minute, Spain has tied the score in the 30th minute, but that wasn’t all in the regular time. In the 91st minute, Ivory Cost has scored another goal, but Spain has tied the score once again in the 93rd minute. In the overtime, Spain was awarded a penalty in the 98th minute, which they scored, and they have scored 2 more goals, and that was finally enough for a 5-2 win. Rafa Mir is now the leading goalscorer for Spain with 3 goals, while Oyarzabal added 2 goals. Spain is relying on ball possession a lot, but their defense is making some stupid mistakes, and it almost cost them in the quarterfinals.
These two teams have played a friendly match a month ago, and it ended in a 1-1 draw. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this game goes to the overtime as well, but I think it will be a good one. Spain will once again dominate, while Japan will be waiting for their chances on the counterattacks. I will give this a shot at a draw.