It was deja vu all over again as fans were treated to another upset in the World Cup when 4-time Champions Germany succumbed to Japan 2-1 in their Group E encounter on Wednesday.
This is the punishment for a lack of killer instinct – a charge one can never lay at the door of the very best German sides. Hansi Flick’s men should have been out of sight by the halfway point of the second half, but were not ruthless enough. The longer it stayed 1-0, the longer Japan felt they could get something out of the game. Soon after their goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda made multiple saves to keep his team in the game, Japan went to the other end and tested Manuel Neuer. It was a warning Germany didn’t heed properly as immediately afterwards, Arsenal’s Takumi Minamino’s shot was parried by the
German custodian, only for Ritsu Doan to slam home the rebound.
And the match turned on its head when Takuma Asano latched on to a long ball from his own half, and despite the attention of a close-marking defender, beat Neuer at his near post.
Japan floored Germany in the most simplest of ways. A long ball over the top found Asano with ample space, making most of the abysmal German offside trap. Asano cooly held off Sule and squeezed in a finish past the imposing Neuer at the first post. Doesn’t hold well for an experienced keeper like Neuer conceding at the near post.
For the first goal, 4 mins and 9 seconds since he came on as a substitute, Doan thundered home from close range to draw the game. Mitoma began the attack down the left and crossed across goal. It’s palmed away tamely by the dominating Neuer but finds Doan who slots it in.
Earlier, Ilkay Gundogan had sent Shuichi Gonda the wrong way to help Germany take the lead. Kimmich sprayed a pass deep into the penalty box for Raum, who cut back and seemed to be clipped by keeper Gonda. Then, in the act of getting back to his feet, Raum is tackled to the floor by the ‘keeper and the ref has no option but to point to the spot.
Source Indian Express
BDST: 2117 HRS, NOV 23, 2022