Spain and Japan square off on Thursday to close out Group E play with everything on the line. Nobody in the group has clinched anything and the winner of this match is likely the group winner. The match takes place at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha and airs at 2 p.m. ET on FOX. Spain is a sizable favorite to win this match with -255 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. Japan is a +750 underdog and a draw is installed +370.
The match will be officiated by a crew led by South African Victor Gomes serving as the referee. The two assistants will be Zakhele Thusi Siwela (South Africa) and Souru Pathsoane (Lesotho). This is Gomes’ second match of this year’s World Cup, having worked France’s 4-1 win over Australia. He handed out three yellow cards to the Australian team and none to France.
Spain and Japan sit in the top two spots of Group E. A winner will clinch the group while a draw could be enough to send both squads through. Spain can clinch the group with a win or draw and can still advance with a loss if Germany beats Costa Rica and they don’t overcome the 8 goal differential with Spain. Japan needs a win to clinch the group, but cannot advance if they lose due to the potential outcomes for Costa Rica and Germany.
Here’s a look at the full officiating crew ahead of Thursday’s action (h/t Law 5 - The Referee):
- Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA)
- Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Thusi Siwela (RSA)
- Assistant Referee 2: Souru Pathsoane (LES)
- Fourth Official: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
- Reserve Assistant Referee: Malick El Hadji Samba (SEN)
- Video Assistant Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
- Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Armando Villarreal (USA)
- Offside Video Assistant Referee: Kyle Atkins (USA)
- Support Video Assistant Referee: Adil Zourak (MAR)
- Standby Assistant Video Assistant Referee: Nicolas Taran (URU)