Germany’s shock defeat to Japan put them in danger of being knocked out of the World Cup after conceding two goals in eight minutes because of so many missed opportunities.
After the match, goalkeeper Manual Neuer questioned his German teammates’ inability to see out a win after they threw away a one-goal lead to lose to Japan in their World Cup opening game.
IIkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty would ease his teammate’s tensions and help them believe in a good result, as expected. But everything changed in the second half when a number of substitutions revitalized Japan and Germany finally left ruing their loss to add to their lead.
First, Ritsu Doan equalized for Japan in the 75th minute with a shot from close range. Eight minutes later, Takuma Asano beat Neuer from a tight angle to complete a remarkable turnaround. This result puts Germany in danger of being knocked out of the tournament, with Spain as their next opponent.
Speaking after the match, Germany captain Neuer couldn’t hide his disappointment with the way his side slipped to defeat and appeared to figure out their lack of concentration in front of the goal.
“I’m totally frustrated and upset that we gave up the game,” he pointed blame. “That was more than unnecessary.
“We created a lot of chances to score, so luck and bad luck go hand in hand. The imperative that we wanted to score the second goal was perhaps missing and we brought Japan back into the game.
“After the break, we didn’t have that flow of play anymore, didn’t play with the self-confidence we had in the first half. It was a bit more difficult because they started higher, but we still have to play well.”
Neuer’s opponent in the Japanese goal, Shuichi Gonda, was in inspirational form to stop Germany, making a series of saves to make it 1-0. Kai Havertz saw a goal disallowed for offside, while Jamal Musiala and Joshua Kimmich both hit the crossbar.
Gonda denied Serge Gnabry three times, including two brilliant saves, while the winger also saw his recovery effort halted after Gonda equaled the effort from Jonas Hofmann. Gnabry later fired wide of the post as you sensed Germany was getting closer.
Even when Gonda was eventually beaten, Gundogan’s strike clattered back off the foot of the post prior to Japan mounting their comeback. It’s the second World Cup that Germany has lost their opener since their failure against South Korea in Russia in 2018 as they were known as the holders of the game.
Following Argentina, Germany was dumped out at the group stage. Coach Hansi Flick and his squad have a lot of work to do before taking on Spain on Sunday, who were in rampant form against Costa Rica with a 7 – 0 victory.