In what was a story of daring substitutions, fleeting soccer and a never-say-die perspective, Japan shocked the world of soccer with a 2-1 win over four-time world champions Germany of their opening match of the FIFA World Cup on Wednesday. The Blue Samurai used all of their 26% of possession at hand Germany their first defeat in 26 video games.
Ilkay Gundogan put Germany forward with a peaceful penalty within the thirty third minute, sending Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda – whose foul on David Raum noticed them concede the penalty – the mistaken approach. Whereas Germany dominated the half thereafter, Japan did launch a few counters which ought to’ve alerted the Germans to what was to return within the subsequent 45 minutes.
At half-time, Hansi Flick’s males had 80 % possession. They’d a complete of 14 photographs with 5 heading in the right direction. Japan had one shot, however that was astray. However that didn’t matter. Japanese coach, Hajime Moriyasu, who’s typically been criticized for organising his group negatively, made all attacking adjustments within the second a lot in order that they’d two wingers enjoying because the full-backs.
It was virtually like Moriyasu was planning for a rugby match the place the vital gamers are initially benched.
They managed to easily slice by the Germans within the second half and continued to develop in perception. The Japanese stored going with their principal man Junya Ito chasing down balls and inflicting infinite issues for the German protection.
Not that Germany didn’t assault. They managed to crowd the Japan field however resilient defending meant that they couldn’t discover a approach by. It was additionally Japan’s perception that was the distinction. It was perception when keeper Gonda pulled off an insane four-save combo within the seventieth minute to maintain his group within the match, certainly redeeming himself for conceding an inexpensive penalty. Serge Gnabry arrange Jonas Hofman, whose shot was denied by Gonda.
A cross then discovered Gnabry however his header was additionally denied by Gonda and he managed to drag out a save once more from the rebound. Buoyed by that save, Japan appeared to assault fearlessly. Kaoru Mitoma began the assault down the left flank, organising Takumi Minamino, who performs for present Premier League leaders Arsenal.
Minamino’s shot, which was extra of a cross, was parried tamely by Germany’s sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer and located Ritsu Doan, who had simply come on 4 minutes earlier. The Freiburg artificial no mistake, thundering residence to provide Japan the lead.
Astonishingly, Mitoma, Minamino and Doan, have been all second-half substitutes. Germany have been shocked, they knew they needed to assault since they face Spain subsequent and that could possibly be difficult. However Japan additionally knew that and as an alternative of enjoying for a draw, they went all out. Eight minutes later, it was one other substitute, Takuma Asano who gave Japan the lead. And it was the best of strikes.
A protracted ball excessive discovered Asano with ample house, making a lot of the abysmal German offside lure. He cooly held off Nikalas Suele and squeezed in a end previous the imposing Neuer on the first submit. It doesn’t maintain nicely for an skilled keeper like Neuer conceding on the close to submit.
And it doesn’t maintain nicely for Germany dropping their first match of the match. It instantly delivered to thoughts their disastrous outing at Russia 2018 they usually’ll must placed on a much-improved present in opposition to Spain and Costa Rica in the event that they wish to make it to the knockouts.