11/30/2022
Germany was beaten in their first group stage match of the World Cup against Japan. Japan came from behind to win 2-1 against the 2014 champions.

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Here are the five facts we learned from the game-

Germany were beaten with 3+ Expected Goals stat:

Germany are the first team in World Cup history to be beaten with a 3+ xG (3.27). Germany had 14 shots in the first half and 12 shots in the second half and even after that, they could score only one goal. In the second half, things turned out better for the Asian side, who scored 2 from their 12 shots in total. Out of the 26 shots, Germany managed only 9 on target and hit the woodwork twice.

Japan won the match with 2nd lowest possession:

Japan won the match with just 26.2% possession in the match, the second lowest in World Cup history when a team has won the match. Japan had only 19% of the ball in the first half, which improved slightly in the second. But they did the main damage after the break with that little amount of the ball, scoring two goals to prevail over Germany. And the team in the World Cup to win a match with the lowest percentage of possession? It’s South Korea when they beat Germany 2-0 in Russia four years ago.

German players take a pledge:

German players covered their mouths with their hands at the team photo shoot before the match. It was a message to FIFA and a firm stand on their stance on diversity and inclusion. FIFA banned their captain Manuel Neuer from wearing OneLove armband which was set to be worn as a stand against host nation Qatar’s human rights violations. The message off the field was firm, but the performance on the field was rather horrific.

Japan players celebrate after the win over Germany (Image Courtesy: Inside Qatar/Vinod Divakaran)

A Bundesliga blow

This fact will be a tough pill to swallow for the Germans. Both the Japanese goalscorers play their club football in Germany’s top tier. Ritsu Doan, the man who equalized for Japan, plays for SC Freiburg, while Takuma Asano plays for another Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum.

Germany’s defensive woes continue

It looks quite evident that the Germans struggle in defense. Creating chances is not their issue, but defending against any sturdy team is. A defensive back four comprised of Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule, David Raum and Nico Schlotterbeck was underwhelming on the day. Both Sule and Schlotterbeck were clumsy in possession, gave the ball away too many times and invited danger. They need to sort that out soon otherwise 2018 may repeat yet again. Also another fact, Germany don’t have a clean sheet since their 2014 final win against Argentina.