Japan's Takahiro Ohgihara (3) takes the penalty kick and misses during their men's Group D football match against Spain at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland July 26, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/David Moir)
In the first surprise of the 2012 Olympics Soccer tournament, favorites Spain underwent the same face as their senior team in the 2010 World Cup.
A late first half goal by Japan's Otsu and a red card on Inigo Martinez shortly after were the major differences in a 1-0 Japanese win.
Spain did not have a solid match overall. Japan was aggressive and confident and often looked like the better team. Japan had the match's first attempt when Kensuke Nagai tested goalie David de Gea just two minutes into the match. At the 33-minute mark, Otsu gave them the lead after he tapped in a Takahiro Ohgihara corner.
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Just minutes later, Japan got all the security they needed when Martinez hauled down Nagai and was thrown out, leaving Spain with just 10 men on the field. Spain, which was having a hard time controlling possession up to this point, was rendered useless for the remainder of the match as Japan outplayed and out chanced them. For the match, Japan had 10 shots on goal to Spain's six and Japan had four of theirs on target while Spain only had two shots actually find the net.
Hope is not over for Spain. The 2010 World Champions were stunned in their opener to Switzerland before winning six straight. The 2012 Euro Champions Spain were stymied in a 1-1 draw in their opener before winning the remainder of their matches and the championship. Spain currently finds themselves in last place in Group D after a 2-2 draw in the Morocco and Honduras match. However, Spain is still favored to win the group.
Japan meanwhile emphasizes why they may be one of the best teams in the tournament.