‘If I found that out, I would’ve had a heart attack!’: Spain boss Luis Enrique admits he ‘didn’t know’ his side were on the brink of World Cup elimination, after Costa Rica took a brief lead over Germany in group finale
- Luis Enrique admitted that he wasn’t keeping tabs on other results on the night
- His Spain side progressed to the World Cup round of 16 after qualifying second
- At one point in the night, Spain were sat third after drama in the other match
- Costa Rica took a three minute lead against Germany which put them second
- Enrique says he would’ve had a ‘heart attack’ if he’d realised their potential fate
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Spain boss Luis Enrique has claimed he would’ve had a ‘heart attack’ if he’d realised his side were on the brink of World Cup elimination – after Costa Rica took a brief lead over Germany in the other Group E clash.
Enrique’s side secured their place in the World Cup round of 16 after qualifying second in their group. They would’ve placed first though they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Japan.
It could’ve been worse for Spain – had Costa Rica been able to hang on to their lead – but Enrique admitted post-match that he was totally unaware his side nearly got sent home from Qatar.
Luis Enrique admitted he was unaware Spain were nearly sent home from the World Cup
Spain secured a place in the round of 16 but suffered a scare as they lost 2-1 to Japan
Speaking at his press conference, according to ESPN, Enrique said: ‘We were knocked out? I was not paying attention to the other match, when did that happen? I didn’t know this. If I found that out, I would have had a heart attack.’
In the 58th minute of Costa Rica’s game with Germany, the Central American nation took the lead after a Manuel Neuer own-goal.
The consequence of that saw Spain drop down to third in the group and Germany fourth – meaning Japan and Costa Rica were heading through.
Though parity in that match was quickly restored and the Germans went on to win the game 4-2, meaning Enrique’s side were safe.
A Manuel Neuer own-goal early in the second-half meant Costa Rica were heading through
Spain were shocked by Japan as they fell to defeat and only qualified second from Group E
On top of that, Spain’s clash with Japan was already embroiled in drama after Enrique’s side fell behind to a dubious VAR decision shortly after half-time.
Japan’s Ao Tanaka gave his side the lead from close range although replays appeared to show the ball going out of play in the build-up to the goal.
Enrique claimed: ‘From my angle the ball was clearly half out. More than that I could not say because of the speed.
‘I was concerned about scoring but there was always a possibility that it was going to be out.
‘If it was not out and it was not a goal I would not have been disappointed but in the end it was a goal so that was great.’
Enrique admitted there was no communication with his team about other scorelines
Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma was ruled by VAR to have kept the ball in play for their winner
Enrique finished by saying: ‘In football you deserve it or not and we didn’t deserve it. I’m not happy at all. I would have liked to be on top and win but in five minutes Japan scored two. We were dismantled.
‘We didn’t have any danger in the first half and then at half-time I told them to be cautious because they had nothing to lose. We collapsed and they could have scored two more goals. I’m not happy at all.
‘I never celebrate defeats so we have nothing to celebrate. We have qualified but I have nothing to celebrate.’
His side will take on Morocco in their round of 16 tie on Tuesday next week.
Enrique’s side will face Morocco in the World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon next week