Japan national team made a big surprise after beating Germany national team 4-1 in the International Friendly ‘A’ Match at Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg.
An international friendly match was held on the 9th, with Japan national team playing against the Germany national team on enemy territory.
Since the World Cup in Qatar, Germany has been in a difficult situation with 1 win, 1 loss, and 3 draws in 5 international A matches, and Ilkay Gundogan has been appointed as the new captain ahead of this match. He continues to experiment, including converting Joshua Kimmich to right-back. The team adopted a 4-3-3 system, with Florian Wirtz in the attacking midfield and Leroy Sane, Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry in the front line.
On the other hand, Japan, who entered the enemy territory after being designated by Germany, had goalkeeper Keisuke Osako in the goalmouth, and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who was returning to the national team for the first time since the World Cup, started at centre back. In the offensive position, where there is a wealth of talent, Junya Ito, Daichi Kamata, and Kaoru Mitoma are lined up in the second row, and Kiyo Ueda is in the front line.
Initially, both teams tried to create opportunities by defending from high positions. Then, in the 11th minute, Japan swung from side to side and received the ball on the right side. Yusei Sugawara set up vertically and sent a centring ball in front of the goal, which Ito reacted to by diving into the near side. The ball he tried to meet with his right foot hit Rudiger’s foot, changing its course and heading towards the goal. Japan had a good start and succeeded in taking the lead.
However, in the 19th minute against Germany, Gundogan received a pass from the left side in the vital area, passed it to Florian Wirths, and passed it to Sane, who ran into the right side of the box. In the end, Sane slotted in a shot with his left foot, putting Germany back in the game. Japan was caught up, but in the 22nd minute, Tomiyasu played again, and the ball connected with Ito, Kamata, and Sugawara on the right side, and Ito on the right side of the box aimed at Sugawara’s centring ball with his right foot. Although the ball could not be met, Ueda reacted to it and connected it with his left foot, giving Japan the lead again.
After that, there were some moments where it was difficult for Sane to respond, but Japan controlled the match throughout the first half. In the 40th minute, Ueda won the ball up front and had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but was unable to break through Ter Stegen’s stronghold and Japan took a 2-1 lead at the end of the match.
In the second half, Japan changed to a 5-4-1 format, with Sugawara and Mitoma playing as wingbacks. At the start of the second half, Japan had a chance to score after Ito stole the ball, but Ueda’s shot was once again blocked by goalkeeper Ter Stegen, preventing them from scoring another point. Manager Hajime Moriyasu replaced Kamata and Ueda with Shogo Taniguchi and Takuma Asano as the centre of gravity moved back, forcing the team to spend more time. Taniguchi was placed in the centre of the final line, and Mitoma was raised one row in front.
Germany will replace Emre Can and Nico Schlotterbeck with Pascal Gross and Robin Gosens. Although they sent out more offensive players, they could not mount an effective attack. On the other hand, in the 70th minute, Japan’s Asano got behind the counter and invaded the left side of the box to finish the match, but he was blocked three times by goalkeeper Ter Stegen.
Germany also sent Thomas Muller and Julian Brandt in place of Havertz and Wirtz, while Japan sent Takefusa Kubo and Ao Tanaka in place of Ito and Morita. In the final stages, Daiki Hashioka and Ritsu Doan joined the team, and the team worked together to overcome Germany’s counterattack. In the 90th minute, Kubo stole the ball from the front line and dribbled up the ball, setting the stage for Asano’s goal. Furthermore, Tanaka scored a header from Kubo’s cross in additional time, giving Japan a 1-4 victory over Germany in their enemy’s territory.
In their next match, Japan will play the Turkiye national team in Belgium on the 12th, while Germany, who has continued to perform poorly, will play the France national team.
Credit Photo : ESPN