The 4-time World Cup champions Germany failed their 1st match against Japan on Wednesday at Khalifa International Stadium in the Group E fixture of the ongoing FIFA World Cup. Japan secured a 2-1 win in the opening match to go top of Group E with Spain. Even though Ilkay Gunddogan lead Germany with a penalty in the 33rd minute, Japan’s second-half strikes of 2 goals left the Germans to leave the ground sad.
This is the second major upset in FIFA World Cup after Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina on Thursday.
The second-half strikes of Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano lead Japan to victory over Germany. It was their clever substitutions that helped Japan stun Germany in the match.
It all began with a pass from Kaoru Mitoma which cut through Germany’s left channel before finding Takunu Minamino. The midfielder unleashed a shot but Manuel Neuer wards off it away. However, Neuer’s save went to Ritsu Doan, who posted the 1st goal from six yards. An unimaginable 75th-minute goal from Japan stunned Germany who were leading the match 1-0 till then.
A series of events before this leads up to this goal more than that of Mitoma’s pass. It was the game-changing substitution of Hajime Moriyasu. In the 46th minute, Takehiro Tomiyasu came into action. 11 minutes later, Mitoma followed him along with Takuma Asano. Those 3 substitutes reaped rewards for Japan when Asano nearly buried a cross to Junya to form the right wing.
Japan started with a 4-2-3-1 defending system but later changed to an attacking mode of 3-4-3 threats from a 1v1 situation. He used his pace on the wings effectively and a counter-attack in the 61st minute shows that.
At the 71st minute, Dean was introduced. With all substitutes introduced in the 75th minute, Japan instantly turned the tide and scored the equalizer.
In the 83rd minute, Takuma Asano unleashed the powerful right-footer that led the team to a powerful win in the group stage.
Germany’s real problem was the absence of the best strikers and they failed the match with the Group’s most timid team. The other two teams in the group are Spain and Costa Rica. With two matches remaining in the group stage, it is difficult for Germany to mark their place in the pre-quarters.
Chances for Germany to reach the Pre-quarters
An easy way for Germany to reach pre-quarters is by winning the remaining two matches. To defeat both Spain and Costa Rica will give them 6 points. With the 21 goal attempts in the previous game, it is not a tough job for Germany. They are good at attacking, but they should focus more on finishing.
Another chance for Germany to reach pre-quarters is a failure for both Spain and Japan in the coming matches. Both teams had already won a match having 3 points each. Spain won the 1st match against Costa Rica by 7 goals and has the highest goal ratio in the group. A win against Spain with a high goal ratio will lead Germany to have a chance. If Germany fails against Spain, then their chance to reach pre-quarters went in vain.
Japan will now fight against Costa Rica in the next match. Already winning a match against Germany, it is easy for Japan to win over Costa Rica. If that happens, Germany will still struggle.