Germany became the latest football giants to suffer a surprise defeat at Qatar 2022 as Japan clinched a dramatic 2-1 victory from behind.
Goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano in the second half equalized Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty and sealed a result that puts Hansi Flick’s men in serious jeopardy.
We evaluate the most important topics of conversation of a memorable encounter.
make a statement
Even before a ball was kicked, Germany’s players made headlines around the world with a strong pre-game gesture.
Following FIFA’s announcement that all players wearing the OneLove bracelet, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion, would be booked, the German starting XI responded by covering their mouths for the team photo.
In a statement on Twitter, the German Football Association (DFB) said: “Human rights are non-negotiable. That should go without saying, but it isn’t. That is why this message is so important to us.”
As a four-time world champion, Germany traditionally knows a thing or two about grinding results – but this current crop is looking pretty vulnerable from behind.
The fears of some critics, who came into the tournament over a shaky defense, proved true as Samurai Blue effortlessly carved chance after chance in the second period.
The winning goal, scored with a simple ball over the top, was an incredibly simple build-up and will give Flick and his coaches cause for concern.
Since qualifying for the first World Cup in 1998, Japan have had a record 50% of getting out of the group – and now they have a great chance to further improve on that impressive ratio.
Seen by most as nothing more than a tough test for Germany and Spain in Group E, Hajime Moriyasu’s men now know that defeating Costa Rica on Sunday gives them a strong chance of progressing.
Comfortable off the ball and tempting on the break, these Japanese will now wonder how far their journey to Qatar can go.
group of death
If Japan progress, it will mean an unexpected early exit for one of the group’s two European powerhouses.
Ahead of this afternoon’s competition, Spain and Germany were both among bookmakers’ top five favorites to lift the trophy – making a potential elimination from the group stage look disastrous for either side.
What was already looking like a delicious Sunday night meetup between the two could suddenly prove to be a fatal blow for the loser.