La Roja drop into a different side of the draw after failing to win their group
With only two groups in the first phase of the World Cup in Qatar to be finished, Spain already have their potential path to the final marked out. Despite losing to Japan, they booked their place in the last 16 as runners-up of Group E thanks to Germany's victory over Costa Rica.
Therefore, La Roja will meet Morocco in the round of 16 of the World Cup. Pending what happens in the other groups on Friday, Spain, if they manage to beat the Moroccans, could meet Portugal in the quarterfinal, with one of the favourites France then a possibility in the semifinal.
In missing out on first place, Luis Enrique's men avoid the side of the draw that could pair them with Brazil (presuming they win their group) in the quarterfinal and with Argentina in a hypothetical semifinal. It would not have been a comfortable path exactly.
In theory, then, the path to the final seems easier for Spain, although if this World Cup has shown anything -- with Belgium and Germany already out, Japan beating Spain and Saudi Arabia beating Argentina -- it's that nothing is a given.