The Japanese football team shook the world and stunned football enthusiasts after it secured a 2-1 victory against Germany at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Khalifa International Stadium burst in jest and disbelief following a late comeback from the Asian team, each with a goal from players Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano. This marks the first loss of the German team after leading the half-time since 1978.
The four-time World Cup winners expressed disbelief and said the Japanese caught them off guard. Germany also performed poorly back in 2018 when they finished the group stages.
“It is ludicrous that we are here with a defeat. We played a good game over long periods. But a game is also marked by the chances that you convert into goals,” said striker Thomas Muller.
“It’s a big surprise. We saw the Saudi victory over Argentina – the Asian countries are reaching the global standard,” said the Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu.
“With this defeat and zero points, we are under pressure, no question about it. We can only blame ourselves, and it’s a great disappointment. We were on the right path in the first half. And we had 78 percent possession and were ahead 1-0. Then, we had good chances in the second half that we didn’t take advantage of,” said Hansi Flick, the Germany manager.
“Japan was simply more efficient today. However, we made mistakes that we should never commit, especially in a World Cup, and those are the things that we need to improve on,” he added.
Germany protested at the FIFA World Cup
European football associations warned FIFA members of possible sanctions if they donned a “OneLove” armband during the event. However, the German team and the Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser disobeyed the rule and wore one.
Furthermore, as a protest, the German team covered their mouths for a team picture. According to sources, this symbolizes support for the freedom of speech.
“With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example for values that we live in the national team: diversity and mutual respect,” said the DFB.
“Be loud together with other nations. This is not about a political message: human rights are non-negotiable. That should go without saying. But unfortunately, it still isn’t. That is why this message is so important to us. Banning us from the bandage is like banning our mouths. Our stance stands.”
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An unexpected win
According to the Japanese coach, they wanted to dominate the game. However, he admitted that Germany was a strong foe. And so they needed to maintain focus throughout the game.
He said that the Japanese team tried to grab all the openings they could get, and while the German team came to them at full force, they ‘hang tough until the final whistle.’
“Absolutely, I expected Germany to win that game. It’s a massive shock. Japan are no mugs, but it just shows that you will get a big surprise when you’re not quite at it. What surprised me with the second goal was that Manuel Neuer turned his body to allow the ball to go past him,” said sports enthusiast Gary Neville.
“Usually, Neuer stands up strong and is a brilliant goalkeeper. The result will send shockwaves through the tournament.”