Germany have done it. They’ve pulled an Argentina and gave away 1-0 lead to lose 3-2 to a Japan side who was leaps and bounds better than the lethargic Europeans. Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan converted his penalty, but that was all Die Mannschaft could muster as quickfire goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano completed the upset. Let’s see who the standouts were (if there are any).
Jersey Swap: Japan, Nico Schlotterbeck, and David Raum
Every single player in the Japan team deserved a shout for their performance today. They all wanted the win and it’s what they deserved.
Now if you’re wondering why I included those two Germany defenders, you’ll see why. David Raum won us the penalty but failed to block off Doan on his goal which was just poor defending. He got toasted lots of times on his flank, which makes me miss Robin Gosens right now.
Nico. Schlotterbeck. What were you DOING on that second goal? Why were you not going in for the tackle before Asano sprinted through? Why? Just why? Borussia Dortmund must be sweating right now.
Der Kaiser: Antonio Rudiger and Niklas Sule
I don’t remember Sule ever being at fault for anything in this match, so he gets a shout here. Similarly, Rudiger is the only player who was willing to fight for the badge. The Real Madrid center-back was pretty much solid, bar a few mishaps at the end. If you ever need to cheer yourself up after that game, just look at how he ran back to defend with massive strides.
Fußballgott: Joshua Kimmich
Kimmich had to work hard for the whole game and it didn’t pay off. Either with Gundogan or Leon Goretzka, the Bayern Munich man’s midfield partners just weren’t on it and Kimmich was the only person in the midfield worthy of recognition. I was tempted to put all Japanese players, but I already put them all in the Jersey Swap section, so there’s that.
Der Bomber: Thomas Muller, The rest of Germany’s unavailable attackers, and Manuel Neuer
Muller was his usual self despite not being 100% fit. He was all over the place and played really well. Now you might be thinking: “Why is Neuer here?” Well, Neuer wanted the draw more than Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz, with the former going up for a free kick and a corner. The latter’s teammate, Timo Werner, proved that he wasn’t the reason behind Germany’s deficiencies. Likewise, a knee-injured Sane and an ill Fullkrug would’ve done a much better job than our attackers.
Meister of the Match: Jamal Musiala
This kid is so good that he would’ve made a difference had he stayed on. Hansi Flick really messed up his substitutions and Germany paid the price. Throw in the fact that they couldn’t finish their chances doesn’t help their case. Musiala’s dribble early into the second half was just mesmerizing, the same way we Germany fans were at the full time whistle. Musiala is literally going to have to carry this team if we want any chance of going to the knockouts.
Interested in a more in-depth (and miserable) review of the game and what went wrong? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk about Flick’s selections, underperforming players, tactical issues, and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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