The dramatic script at this World Cup makes it difficult to put into words yet another big German failure.
The dramatic group stage decision fulfilled expectations with Germany being dominant and quickly opening the scoring against a disorganized Costa Rica in their defensive field.
There were five submissions for Germany in the first 15 minutes for manager Hansi Flick’s team. However, the many wasted chances offered Costa Rica the possibility of believing in a comeback in the second half.
With the news of Japan’s comeback against Spain at the start of the second half, Germany showed nervousness with considerable individual failures in the defensive field. Yeltsin Tejeda and Manuel Neuer’s own goal gave Costa Rica the lead.
For three minutes, Germany and Spain were being eliminated by Costa Rica and Japan in the group, but Kai Havertz had a great performance after coming off the bench and secured the comeback. Niclas Fullkrug, the best German news in this World Cup, scored the last German goal in this World Cup.
After the 2014 world title and the 7-1 defeat of Brazil, Germany completely failed in all the other major competitions that followed. In other words, while the Bundesliga maintains its strength, German national team football needs a complete restart.
JAPAN 1-2 SPAIN
Spain entered with the aim of realizing their status as the best team in the group stage at the World Cup, while Japan needed to look for an unlikely victory to avoid the need to combine results.
In the first half, the Spaniards had seven finishes and put pressure on the Japanese in the first 30 minutes. Japan entered with a 5-4-1 formation (variations for 5-3-2).
Álvaro Morata quickly opened the scoring, in a dominant moment for Spain with a lot of exchange of passes and occupation of the offensive field.
Gradually, Japan managed to close the two defensive lines more and scared Spain before the break with a greater presence on the offensive field.
In the second half, Hajime Moriyasu once again spotted his team’s problems and made the necessary changes. Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka secured the comeback with just six minutes.
Unlike the first half, Spain had only one shot in 30 minutes, as Japan managed to control possession with tactical organization and good finishes in the final third.
Even with the two goals of advantage, the selection of Spain showed a lot of nervousness and suffered considerably with the tactical change performed by the Japanese, recovering the possession of the ball only in the final stretch.
With the results, Japan reached the round of 16 in first place in the group, writing one of its greatest chapters in the history of Japanese sport with the victories over Spain and Germany.
Even with the two favourable results and a good performance against Costa Rica (despite the defeat), Japan will continue to be underestimated by some opponents and journalists. With just 17.7% against the Spaniards (according to Opta Analyst), Japan proved to be capable of facing any opponent.
Meanwhile, Spain performed unrecognizably in terms of their style of football in the second half. A strange performance and completely worrying for manager Luís Henrique. For now, Brazil becomes the favourite to win the World Cup.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.