Germany surprised by Japan in newest World Cup shock


DOHA, Qatar — After Saudi Arabia‘s win over Argentina, Qatar 2022 noticed not simply one other upset, however one other come-from-behind upset with the supposed minnow upending the heavy favourite.

Germany went forward within the first half through a Ilkay Gündogan penalty, however substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano struck within the final quarter-hour to show the tie on its head.

Japan‘s 2-1 victory underscores simply how shaky this Germany aspect have change into, significantly once they seem in management.

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Speedy Response

1. Japan subs make an enormous distinction

4 years in the past, Japan had been on the verge of knocking out Belgium and advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals. This time, they started with arguably the most important shock end result they’ve ever garnered: over four-time world champions Germany. However their 2-1 win owes rather a lot to this aspect’s capacity to stay calm and make the kind of substitutions that change video games.

Having gone a objective down after goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda conceded a pointless penalty, in a primary half which noticed Germany create little, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu nailed all his substitutions. Kaoru Mitoma supplied creativity and invention down the left; Takuma Asano was a whirlwind of vitality and precision; Takehiro Tomiyasu supplied the sort of stability on the again that allowed Japan to be extra attacking and Takumi Minamino (in his personal, someday sloppy manner), wreaked havoc and performed an enormous half within the equalizer.

Japan went from the counter-attacking strategy of the primary half to a much more intense urgent sport in midfield and a hit-in-transition model that rattled Germany. I am unsure they may have turned it round had been it not for the 5 substitutes.

2. Germany’s lopsided assault fails

Germany completed the sport with Mario Gotze, Youssoufa Moukoko and Niclas Fullkrug up entrance. In different phrases, a one-time phenom who had been written off three years in the past and is barely now making a timid return, a man who solely turned 18 on the day the World Cup began, and a man successful, at 29, solely his second Germany cap.

This was coach Hansi Flick’s Plan B and that should be a severe concern. Flick needed to flip to Plan B as a result of Plan A consisted of a bunch of items that do not fairly match collectively.

Kai Havertz was perennially caught between following directions and following intuition; Thomas Muller drifted slowly to the best flank and acquired in Serge Gnabry’s manner. In the meantime 19-year-old star Jamal Musiala confirmed glimpses of brilliance, however was relegated to an space out vast on the left which does little for his immense expertise.

The main focus shall be on Germnay’s uncharacteristic collapse and defensive errors from Nico Schlotterbeck and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (conceding on the close to put up.) However basically it was a perform of Germany’s entrance six being unable to manage the sport within the second half (Plan A). And that Plan B is the equal of attempting to repair Thanksgiving lunch with stuff you may choose up on the gasoline station.

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3. Germany cannot afford one other slip

It is a match that frequently harkens again to the previous, so it is just about inevitable that the spectre of what occurred in Russia 2018 — with Germany exiting within the group stage for the primary time in its post-war historical past following defeat to South Korea — will now be a speaking level.

And, certainly, if you happen to throw in Euro 2020 — when Germany went out with a whimper within the first knockout spherical towards Gareth Southgate’s England — there shall be loads of self-doubt creeping in.

This isn’t a well-known place for Germany and the German public. They should keep in mind that, scary as Spain could also be (or is probably not … it is powerful to inform what you get with Luis Enrique) they management their very own future. The excellent news? Costa Rica and Spain, the opposite sides within the group, play a completely completely different model of soccer. The dangerous information? If Germany play the best way they did after the break, it will not make a lot distinction.

Participant rankings

Germany: Neuer 5, Sule 6, Rudiger 6, Schlotterbeck 4, Raum 6, Kimmich 7, Gundogan 6, Gnabry 6, Muller 5, Musiala 7, Havertz 5.

Subs: Goretzka 5, Moukoko 6, Hofmann 5, Gotze 5, Fullkrug 5.

Japan: Gonda 6, Sakai 7, Itakura 7, Yoshida 6, Nagatomo 5, Endo 7, Tanaka 7, Ito 8, Kamada 6, Maeda 5, Kubo 5.

Subs: Minamino 6, Asano 8, Tomiyasu 8, Mitoma 8, Doan 7.

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Junya Ito

A lot as you are tempted to select substitutes like Mitoma or Asano, it was Ito who supplied essentially the most each in transition and in disrupting Germany’s build-up. High quality and amount collectively … what extra may you need.

WORST: Nico Schlotterbeck

It is not simply getting beat like he did on the second objective (possibly he figured Neuer had it coated, properly.. he did not), it is the best way as soon as Japan raised the tempo within the second half, his positioning and clearances grew to become more and more erratic.

Highlights and notable moments

The row over FIFA’s risk of sanctions over the “OneLove” armband continued as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was checked completely prematch, Germany gamers positioned their palms over their mouths throughout a staff picture and German minister Nancy Faeser snuck hers previous safety to sit down subsequent to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

On the pitch, Germany’s David Raum was fouled by Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda, probably even twice, leading to a penalty for the opening objective.

However Japan turned issues round late within the second half. And the way did this go in?

After the match: What the gamers and managers stated

To observe…

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)

– The final time Germany scored a penalty objective in regulation time was when Thomas Müller transformed towards Portugal within the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage.

– Gundogan’s objective was the twelfth penalty Germany have scored (in regulation/additional time) on the World Cup — third-most by any nation. And 5 of Gundogan’s final 6 targets for Germany have been penalties.

– That is the 68th World Cup match by which Germany have scored the primary objective, essentially the most by any staff. (Brazil – 67 – play on Thursday.)

– Japan had by no means received a sport on the World Cup when permitting the primary objective (0-7-2, W-L-D.)

– Germany had been unbeaten of their earlier 21 World Cup matches when main at half-time – 20-0-1 (W-L-D). Their final loss when main at half-time on the World cup was within the second group stage vs. Austria in 1974 as West Germany.

– Asano’s objective was Japan’s newest sport winner on the World Cup.

– It was Germany’s second straight match on the World Cup shedding to a staff from the Asian Soccer Confederation (AFC). Their final match on the 2018 World Cup was a loss to South Korea. Prior to those two straight losses, Germany had by no means misplaced to a staff from AFC on the World Cup.

– It was the primary staff two substitutes have scored for an Asian staff in a World Cup match.

– Japan closed as a +600 underdog at Caesars Sportsbook.

Up subsequent

Germany: It was meant to be the sport that probably determined who tops the group, however after Germany’s loss to Japan they meet Spain on the Al Bayt Stadium on Nov. 27 at 10 p.m. native time / 2 p.m. ET. A foul end result and Germany could possibly be out early.

Japan: Costa Rica are subsequent up for Japan on the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium from 1 p.m. native time / 5 a.m. ET, the place they may make an actual push for prime spot.

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