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Locked [Sports] A night of transistors (and terror) in the Khalifa: the agonizing three minutes in which Spain was eliminated, world cup 2022 qatar


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Until Germany's response to Costa Rica's goal, at Al Bayt, the Spanish crowd feared the worst. "We will have to ask other teams if they care about passing with a good or bad image," Morata assured. Morocco awaits in the round of 16

A drum did not stop rumbling in the Khalifa International stadium. It sounded over and over like a heartbeat. Or as an omen that something was going to happen. It was a small group of Japanese, with their blue t-shirts, who were trying to blow their own gear into another gear with a clean blow. But the noise suddenly stopped because of Álvaro Morata. The Japanese defense contemplated the shot by the Spanish striker, only in the six-yard box after Azpilicueta's precise cross, signing his third goal in the tournament and climbing to the long list of top scorers (now there are five). In the stands, recently arrived from Madrid, were Leonardo, Alessandro and Edoardo, their three children, and his wife Alice, who is expecting another child. Nothing presaged the terrifying night that was coming. That for three minutes he was out of the tournament. That for more than half an hour, he remained with an ear to what was happening in the Al Bayt, setting sails so that Germany would not slip.

The goal did not sit well with the Japanese, because they did not even get up from their seats when the wave, which started from the north end where the Spaniards were staying, passed through their area. They were a few minutes of daze without further ado, because the drum sounded again. Probably even more bad milk. But Spain, which came to have 80 percent possession, as the giant video scoreboards in the stadium announced at full blast, their pulse began to tremble. It happened to Sergio Busquets, unperturbed, and the scene was repeated from the feet of Unai Simón, who was walking a meter from his goal line.

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The night seemed placid, until the drum of Japan finally woke up. In three minutes of confusion from Spain, the Asians took the lead. And even Luis Enrique took off his jacket. The heat came on. For close to five minutes (if not more), the stands were waiting for what the VAR decided. Whether the ball had crossed the end line or not. The referee interrupted the Japanese celebration and the referee himself untied it again with his arm raised, pointing to the center of the field. In the repetition it also seemed that the ball had gone completely, but... Fear entered the body of the stands and the Spanish bench for the first time.

At least Germany did not lose, they had to think about the Spanish bench. But moments later, Vargas scored for Costa Rica. The feat of the Central Americans, received by Luis Enrique's men with a tremendous 7-0, left them out. For three minutes, between 70 and 73 of the other game, when Havertz signed the tie, a chill ran through the body of the bench and the Spanish stands, who would never have imagined such a convoluted script. The scythe came to whistle the ear of the national team.


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