Germany final score against Japan: Another huge World Cup upset as Samurai Blue stuns Germans with late goals

For the second consecutive World Cup, Germany started their campaign in disastrous fashion, squandering a first-half lead to lose 2-1 to Spain. Suddenly, the 2014 champions faced the very realistic prospect of a second straight group stage exit, a self-inflicted crisis that was as much about disastrous defensive work as match-winning excellence by Takuma Asano.

Every metric would indicate Germany were a vastly superior team for the 75 minutes before Ritsu Doan sent Japan back to parity, but the feeling was of a bawdy team that lacked killer instinct on one side. and in cold blood on the other. Japan have shown both in abundance and while there is a lot of work to do to escape a group that includes Spain and Costa Rica, they are superbly placed to do so. Unlike Hansi Flick’s side, they don’t look like a side likely to give as many easy chances as their opponents.

Initially, Japan may not have seen much of the ball in the first half, but they showed impressive ball-chasing acumen. Daizen Maeda could have sent this game down a very different path in the seventh minute but, after some great work from the Japanese midfielder to pocket a loitering Ilkay Gundogan, the Celtic striker made his move too soon to overtake Neuer manual.

These half-openers showed up in Japan more than once during early trade, as did the ever-expanding periods of German possession. Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich would drift from flank to flank, taking the Japanese back line with them. Indeed, almost the whole team seemed to have been dragged down the right in the 31st minute, with a right kick Kimmich dropped the ball at the feet of David Raum. Shuici Gonda cut them short shortly after, the only major error in a resolute defensive display from this team, and Gundogan charged it from the penalty spot, although the second to arrive, the Japanese keeper did everything that could be asked to repay the debt with a magnificent double save from Serge Gnabry.

Kai Havertz could have wrapped up the game before the break but allowed himself to drift offside when he met Jamal Musiala’s cross/shot. This prodigality gave Japanese head coach Hajime Moriyasu a chance to turn the tables. He took it. Switching to a back three allowed the Blue Samurai to apply much more pressure down the flanks while retaining the energy they had shown in the first half. Moments after Manuel Neuer’s superb save denied the dangerous Yunya Ito and Hiroki Sakai guided over the rebound, the Germany captain could only deflect Takumi Minamino’s cross from Asano’s goal certainty to Doan , who provided it instead.

Japan’s winner started prosaically, a kind of nil in the channel turning into a hugely effective pass through Niklas Sule who stood two meters away from his German teammates, playing Asano alongside him. There was still plenty for the former Arsenal striker to do, killing a pass over 60 yards with one touch and easing the ball over Neuer from a tight angle.

Leon Goretzka fired inches wide in seven minutes of added time, but Germany looked just as likely to give Japan a third, redirecting the clumsy right-back Sule to the extreme with the ball at his feet. In a final desperate heave, the captain and goalkeeper came on for a barrage of set pieces in the dying seconds, but Gonda held on, fine more than done.

Moriyasu reverses the trend

It was a match won in the Japan locker room at halftime. Switching winger Takefusa Kubo for Takehiro Tomiyasu, who plays as a centre-back for his national team, might have seen a cautious approach on paper, but switching Moriyasu gave his players maximum opportunities to exploit Germany’s weakness. Now operating in a 3-4-3, Japan had the width to test Sule and Raum, nor the natural full-backs, full-backs eating the yards to ensure that Flick’s response of leaving Musiala and Gnabry high did not wasn’t as effective as it could have been.

For the next half hour, Moriyasu continued to add new legs, using not only the maximum number of substitutes, but also the most moments he had to add something to the team. Match winner Asano was a pressing dynamo more than willing to chase away lost causes… and turn them into something in the case of Japan’s second goal. Kaoru Mitoma may have worn the No.9, but he covered the tough yards as a left-back, slipping through Minamino, whose cross came to Doan. Three substitutes had turned the tide, another had scored the winner. However, the real game winner was on the bench the whole time.

Musiala marks the World Cup

If those around him hadn’t been so debauched, it might be Musiala who would have won the man of the match trophy on his World Cup debut. Playing on the left, he was a devastating presence for Germany, his innate understanding of space opening up avenues of conduct for his full-back as he slid across the pitch to and fro with his fellow midfielders. . He was always looking to hire defenders and seemed quite capable of beating them; If he had found the net after beating five Japanese defenders, he would have celebrated one of the greatest goals in the history of this tournament.

Changes may well be needed for this German frontline, although it created plenty of chances today. Havertz offered little as a centre-forward and although those behind him played effectively, there didn’t seem to be enough variety in Flick’s attack. Eventually, Japan concluded that they could allow their opponent to throw the ball past them and hope that those intricate passing parries wouldn’t quite happen if there wasn’t a better striker to finish them off. Whatever happens against Spain – when Leroy Sane could be available – Musiala must stay. At the age of 19, he was the player his teammates looked to.

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