Germany vs Japan Preview
Japan finished behind Saudi Arabia in second place in their World Cup qualification campaign and have been inconsistent over the past year. The Asian giants slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Canada last week and will need to bounce back in this fixture.
Germany have made progress under Hansi Flick and remain strong contenders for the World Cup. Die Mannschaft edged Oman to a 1-0 victory in their previous game and will need to take it up a notch to secure a positive result this week.
Japan had never defeated their European rivals before, but they took advantage of German mistakes and wasted opportunities to earn a storied triumph in Group E’s opening match.
After the game, forward Thomas Muller said: “That we are here with a loss is absurd. Long stretches of good play from us, but a game is also defined by the opportunities you turn into goals.”
Hansi Flick’s team quickly took the lead when a poor challenge from goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda on David Raum resulted in a penalty and Ilkay Gundogan converted from the spot after Japan had an early ‘goal’ from Daizen Maeda thrown out for offside as well (33).
Gundogan struck the post on the hour, and the four-time World Cup champions continued to see opportunities come and go before Japan exploited their lightning-quick assault to score again late on. Doan scored from close range following a Manuel Neuer save four minutes after coming on as a replacement. Asano (83) was then able to sneak the ball home on a tight angle after Germany was taken off guard by a pass over the top.
“It comes as a tremendous shock. We witnessed Saudi Arabia defeat Argentina; Asia is catching up to the rest of the world in this regard “Hajime Moriyasu, the Japan coach, stated.
Germany’s terrible World Cup performance has continued as they placed last in their group at the 2018 competition.