Japan’s comeback shocks Germany in the latest World Cup upset
Following Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina, Qatar 2022 witnessed yet another upset—this time a come-from-behind victory for the underdog over the overwhelming favorite. Ilkay Gündogan’s penalty gave Germany the lead in the first half of Wednesday’s match but substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano’s goals in the final 15 minutes turned the game around.
Japan was on the verge of eliminating Belgium and moving on to the World Cup quarterfinals four years ago. This time, they started with a victory over four-time world champions Germany, which was possibly their biggest shock result ever. However, this team’s ability to maintain composure and make the kind of game-changing substitutions is largely responsible for their 2-1 victory.
Japan’s 2-1 victory highlights how unsteady this German team has become, especially when they are in the lead.
Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu made all the right replacements after his team fell after goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda gave up an unnecessary penalty in the first half, which saw minimal offensive activity from Germany. Takehiro Tomiyasu provided the kind of stability at the back that allowed Japan to be more attacking, while Takumi Minamino (in his own, occasionally sloppy way), wreaked havoc and played a significant role in the equalizer. Takuma Asano was a burst of vigor and accuracy, while Kaoru Mitoma supplied imagination and innovation down the left.
Japan switched from the first half’s counterattacking strategy to a far more aggressive midfield pressing game and a hit-in-transition style that alarmed Germany. Without the five stand-ins, I’m not sure they could have changed the situation.
Failure of Germany’s uneven attack
Mario Gotze, Youssoufa Moukoko, and Niclas Fullkrug were Germany’s front three as the game came to a close. In other words, a player who turned 18 on the first day of the World Cup, a former phenom who was written off three years ago, and a player who won (at 29) just his second cap for Germany.
This was coach Hansi Flick’s backup plan, which is very concerning. Plan A was made up of a lot of pieces that didn’t quite fit together, so Flick had to use Plan B.
Thomas Muller progressively slid to the right flank and obstructed Serge Gnabry while Kai Havertz was unable to decide whether to obey orders or his instincts. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old star Jamal Musiala showed flashes of brilliance but was given a position on the left side that did little to showcase his tremendous skill.
The uncharacteristic German collapse and defensive blunders by Nico Schlotterbeck and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be highlighted. Fundamentally, however, it was due to Germany’s front six’s inability to exert control over the game in the second half. And that Plan B is like attempting to prepare Thanksgiving dinner using ingredients you might pick up at the gas station.
Germany cannot afford to make another error.
Since this competition frequently refers to the past, it is almost certain that the specter of what transpired in Russia in 2018 — when Germany lost to South Korea and was eliminated in the group stage for the first time in its post-war history — will come up.
There will be plenty of self-doubt forming, especially if you factor in Euro 2020, where Germany was eliminated in the first round by Gareth Southgate’s England.
This is not a position that the German people or government are accustomed to. They must keep in mind that, whatever how terrifying Spain may be (or may not be; it’s difficult to determine what to expect with Luis Enrique), they are in charge of their fate. the positive news The other teams in the group, Costa Rica and Spain play a completely different style of football. Is that bad news? If Germany continues to play as they did following the break, little will change.
Outstanding and subpar performers
FAVORITE: Junya Ito
Even though you might be tempted to choose alternatives like Mitoma or Asano, Ito provided the most assistance in both the transfer and the disruption of Germany’s buildup. What more could you ask for when quality and quantity are combined?
WORST: Nico Schlotterbeck
It’s not just that he was outplayed, as he was on the second goal (perhaps thinking Neuer had it covered, but he didn’t), but also that his positioning and clearances grew more unpredictable as Japan picked up the pace in the second half.
“Niklas [Sule] just needs to pay attention. He dropped two or three steps too far, so he played him onside. These are particular errors that cost us money today.
We had numerous scoring opportunities during a phase in which we excelled, but we failed to take advantage of them. Today, Japan outperformed us in efficiency. We must not repeat the individual errors we made in the second half. The players need to be developed right away. We won’t have a pleasant journey home.
Coach Hajime Moriyasu of Japan Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu
“We held on because the players have been playing in Germany and Europe, where they have learned so much. At the very end, they came at us with all of their force. In the past, we may have lost. We had to stay strong as a team until the final horn blew, allowing us to seize our chance. We considered a wide range of choices and circumstances when developing our approaches. We made plans and preparations for the possibility that we might lose by one goal because we were aware of it.”
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