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Japan goes on, Germany and Belgium go home


Japan reached the knockout stage after winning a group of Spain and Germany.  No, that's not a typo.

Japan entered the knockout round after winning a group consisting of Spain and Germanyy. No, that’s not a typo.
Picture: beautiful pictures

Today, Japan, Germany, and Belgium all do the absurd in different ways. And that’s before we head to Morocco to win their group. Let’s kick this pig!

game of the day

Japan 2 – 1 Spain

I have to find out what Japan has achieved here before diving into the game’s basics. They are the only team to lose to Costa Rica. And they won the group. They beat both Germany and Spain, but lost to Costa Rica. On the one hand, that’s entirely understandable, as Japan is better suited to being without the ball and attacking with speed after swings and fouls and in the most direct way possible. On the other side of it… what the hell is that?

For today’s match, PhotoMob leaving them with only 18% of possession in the game but still leading in expected goals. Part of that went awry in the last 10-15 minutes as Spain realized that even a 2-1 defeat would send both teams ahead and try to find an equalizer. “Oh my, we’re really trying to score here, to be honest!” However, Japan barely touched the ball and won, that was their plan, but still… what the heck?

We’ll learn more in the VAR section, but Japan’s winner will be contested for a while, especially in Germany, and has echoes of Korea-Spain 2002. The problem arises from not being entirely clear what the original call on the field was, so what was and what wasn’t clear enough evidence to overturn became hazy. But we’ll turn around.

In a way, this is the exact match between Japan and Germany. The first half was all about Spain, because Japan was too passive and let them take the ball wherever they wanted and move wherever they wanted. Alvaro Morata’s opener came after a long period of pressure and possession from Spain, and he was essentially unmarked in the box to head home.

But one aspect of this World Cup that I should probably delve deeper into in the coming days is that it is the first tournament to have five substitutes for each team, which makes a huge difference to the team. teams want or need to apply intense pressure as an ethos or to pursue a goal. Part of Brazil’s tactic is that their trio of forwards can press like crazy for 60-70 minutes because coach Tite can replace them all at that point without exhausting the demand for substitutions.

Twice now, Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu made two substitutions in the first half, against Germany and Spain, which allowed his forward trio to push forward and press fiercely. bounce, and that led to the result against Spain in both of the their goal, scored by both of their substitutes.

So Japan won the group, they lulled both Germany and Spain to their website, and congratulated them for it.

Other results

Germany 4 – 2 Costa Rica

There were three minutes of absolute delirium in this game, when Costa Rica took the lead and at that point they and Japan would have passed and Spain and Germany would go home. But Kai Havertz equalized before the message of panic could reach the Spanish team, so we never saw Spain have to play with high speed.

Although Costa Rica has instilled fear in the world, they have also lost to the Germans 32 shots and 5.79 goals expected, both numbers that would immediately induce vomiting. The Germans clearly know that their best hope is to try to create a goal difference against Spain, especially when it is reported that Japan has taken the lead. Worst of all, Germany need to get on goal difference against Japan in case Spain will try to equalize their game. They didn’t manage that, but they have increased the number of goals scored, although that is not enough.

This is Germany, and this is the second time they have been eliminated in a row in the group stage, bread and the exit of the Round of 16 at the Euro, will cause a sizable autopsy back home. Their only real crime was falling victim to a few quick Japanese counter-attacks, and the slow German defense was not surprising.

Belgium 0 – 0 Croatia

It looks like Belgium got exactly what they wanted, which is to stop being together, stop playing together and everyone has to go home. This certainly feels like an insider job after a while, as Romelu Lukaku really couldn’t face the right direction in the second half, leaving Belgium out of the tournament.

Belgium piled up 3.07 xG and failed to score once. Much of that was thanks to Lukaku, a halftime substitute who collected 1.79 xG on his own. Lukaku has barely played for Inter this year due to injury, and has played only 9 minutes in the first two games. Some rust is understandable, which might explain why he missed this:

Lukaku missed his header a few minutes later and could have gone all the way before it was crossed to him, but then when the final whistle blew, he forgot to apply any type of finish to the goal. This shot:

That goes beyond rust. This is a person’s entire existence turned into a paste.

That doesn’t mean Belgium deserve much, as they are a formidable opponent in most of their matches. They spent the whole first half trying not to concede, because a goal means death, but it’s still hard to understand what Roberto Martinez is trying to do. In the end, he dropped Eden Hazard from the starting line-up and brought in Leandro Trossard, but his place, Kevin De Bruyne’s position (again, was on the right wing for most of the game. match), the position of Yannick Carrasco, no one can do. tell you. It looks like 4-2-huh-maybe that guy? It wasn’t a huge shock that Martinez resigned before everyone was back in the dressing room.

Canada 1 – 2 Morocco

So we all had Morocco win the group here, right? Absolute gimme.

Morocco ended this before anyone could get their hands on their illegal beer. I’ve always suspected that Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan was a moron, and his act of wearing sweatpants during qualifying suggested much of it. He scored his first goal by passing the ball directly to Hakim Ziyech when he was already 30 yards from goal, leaving a finish as simple as a man can make from 45 yards.

Borjan could have done better in Morocco’s second goal, a low shot to which he was slow to react. Canada fought well after the break to try to find the winner and take the first point at the World Cup, but as is the case with most tournaments, they could not find the final goal.

Goals for the day: Costa Rica’s second goal is super fun and Germany Their key team defends the best (and I always laugh out loud in Germany), but we like the excellence here and Ritsu Doan’s equalizer for Japan is the pick:

Savings for the day: Been ignoring the goalkeepers here for a while, but Keylor Navas’ save deserves its own…

It was almost certainly Navas’ swan song at the World Cup, and it’s the way to get past your shield.

A eulogy for the deceased

Germany – As stated above, there will be a surprising number in Deutschland about another early exit. It is perhaps worth questioning how Munich’s dominance in the Bundesliga is affecting things, as the part of the national team that comes from there has not been much looking ahead to teams that can match them. . But it can’t be that simple.

In the end, the World Cup could still be with just three games left, and Germany could be cornered in the second half against Japan, where they have conceded two goals and can’t find another. We know they need a striker. We know their defense is very slow. The other two results they gathered were more than acceptable. It was a tough draw, it was a strange World Cup, and this loss is probably not a treatise on the state of German football. Sometimes, shit happens. It’s funny that it’s finally happening to Germany, whose country seems to be immune to almost all of their existence.

Costa Rica – They saw the biggest possible disappointment in this tournament in three minutes, but have now left the US as the sole CONCACAF representative in the second round. In the end, they were bombarded by both Germany and Spain, and chilled Japan. They are a team that needs an overhaul to be a new generation. And they can do that, because now they’re going to have to land extremely smoothly. USA, Mexico and Canada will not qualify next time, CONCACAF will get extra slots thanks to the 48-team tournament in 2026 and they will be the favorites to claim a spot. Life isn’t too bad.

Canada – The other CONCACAFs heave and dry. Canada will be disappointed that everything that worked so well for them in the qualifiers went awry as the tournament progressed. They only conceded 7 goals after 14 matches in the last Ocho round. They surrendered seven of the three games here. Cyle Larin and Jonathan David couldn’t miss qualifying. Did not score in this tournament. The injury of Stephen Eustaquio complicates their midfield plans (although Atiba Hutchinson suffered a tire in the game against Croatia), but it was the fact that their coach let them outnumber them in midfield against Croatia. the exact opposite of John Herdman pressing every button to the right to bring Canada to the Split World. You have to say that every aspect of this team simply freezes when the brightest lights turn on.

Belgium – They didn’t want to be there, and now they don’t. They were anxious to tell you how old they were and how they had no chance of winning, and they were right. They may not have a next generation to turn the tables ono now, and they feel like a team yoyou’re going to talk to your friends at the bar in 10 or 15 years and just say, “God, how did they do this?” Only Roberto Martinez could have had the best midfielder in the world Kevin De Bruyne and decided to try to build the team around Eden Hazard, who currently only eats on the training table.

Does VAR damage anything?: Probably? Japan’s second target is certainly an odd one. By the time Ao Tanaka crossed to give Japan the lead, it certainly felt like the goal had been ruled out. He stopped celebrating, everyone turned to the umpire, and the announcers said something about the flag about to be raised. So it definitely feels like the goal is never fulfilled. If that’s true, where’s the proof that the ball didn’t go out to overturn that?

Is that enough? Is this it?

Or is the target already in place and that’s not enough to rule it out? It would help if the on-field referee made a definitive decision instead of waiting for VAR.

Also, I support VAR in offside situations but this one against Croatia is…um, hard to defend:

Maybe it’s art and you can read it what you want. I do not know.

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