Japan sends a jolt through the World Cup.

Japan edged Spain on the field and in the group standings on Thursday night to cap another tense night of eliminations at the World Cup.

Scoring twice just after halftime and then defending for its World Cup lives for the rest of the night, Japan beat Spain, 2-1, and emerged from a taut night packed with goals in a place that hardly seemed possible: atop its group.

The result at Khalifa International Stadium ensured both teams would advance, but produced a stunning outcome few could have predicted before the tournament: Germany, a former champion and a team packed with some of the world’s best players, was out after the group stage for the second straight World Cup.

Germany rallied to beat Costa Rica, 4-2, in the group’s other game. But the result in Japan-Spain left them at the mercy of mathematics: Japan (6 points) won the group, and Spain (4 points) held off the Germans on goal difference.

The flip-flop set up two unlikely round of 16 matchups: Japan will play Croatia, a finalist in 2018, and Spain will meet Morocco, which pulled off a surprise win in its group earlier in the day.

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