Sports

World Cup Diary Day 4


Ritsu Doan of Japan celebrates after scoring the opening goal for his team during the Group E World Cup soccer match between Germany and Japan, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar,

Ritsu Doan of Japan celebrates after scoring the opening goal for his team during the Group E World Cup soccer match between Germany and Japan, at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar,
Picture: AP

Match of the day: Japan 2 – Germany 1

While some would like to see this as a disappointment given the extent of Saudi Arabia’s turn against Argentina yesterday, it does not rise to that close for a few reasons. One, Germany is not Argentina and two, this is not a bad punch. Japan entered the tournament where a lot of people (myself included) wanted to make fun of, and worst of all they totally deserved a draw based solely on their second-half performance.

The first half was a bit too passive from Samurai Blue, and Jamal Musiala was the terror from the left wing of the attack, constantly wriggling through the traffic options. Germany had some trouble getting past Wataru Endo’s midfield barrier, so they just had to get past his head to score. They kicked full-back with the full-back as Niklas Sule was able to single out David Raum, who had completely lost all Japanese marks and was alone in the box, which forced Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda had to lose his marble completely and foul him twice to lose a penalty.

But the problem in Germany is that we still don’t know who can consistently score goals from open play, and we don’t know how good some teams are without Bayern Munich overtaking the rest of the Bundesliga. Kai Havertz is not No. 9, and Thomas Müller may be too old to play at this level. Havertz should probably play in Müller’s position.

In the second half, Germany still had opportunities to come in but failed to take advantage, which usually happens when you don’t have someone to regularly shoot the opponent’s net. But as soon as Japan launched Takuma Asano and Kaoru Mitoma in the 57th minute, their attack exploded. Japan attacked Germany exactly the way everyone thought it would, which was quick, direct, and without change. As Müller and Kimmich began to tire, such things became more common. No one attacks with such speed as Japan.

Another problem for Germany is that their defense can become sluggish. Sule dozed off winning the long ball of the game, keeping Asano on as Rudiger and Schlotterbeck stepped up. But both were slow to react, which is a problem Rudiger has had for a while and why Chelsea have to continue playing a back three while he is there. They never caught Asano, who shot confidently from a tight angle for the Landon Donovan Special.

Germany has had serious problems now. It’s hard to judge how good Spain really is thanks to Costa Rica being completely absent, but worst of all, they’re really good. Defeated again and their tournament is over. Even a draw would leave them with a lot of work to do if Japan were to be beaten by Costa Rica, which, at the moment, is like putting your name on the SAT. Germany can play more on the counter-attack against a Spanish team in possession, and perhaps that suits them better, especially if they deploy one of Dortmund’s speedy players they have in Karim Adeyemi. or Youssoufa Moukoko or if Leroy Sane can get Match. But someone will have to finish, and that person’s identity remains a mystery.

Other results: Croatia 0-0 Morocco

Is that the whole thing about old age? Croatia very look at it. Although they had most of the possession, they never proved to be dangerous as they simply didn’t have enough air to counter-attack as they were unable to stretch the Moroccan defense in any way. Both teams worked together to put four shots on target and a 0-0 scoreline seemed like the most likely outcome from around 15 minutes on. This is bit by bit of two corpses under the sun.

Spain 147-0 Costa Rica

You don’t have to worry about not having a real striker when your opponent doesn’t put any pressure. It is not clear what Costa Rica is trying to do, not pressurizing the Spanish defence, nor pressuring the midfield. That means Gavi and Pedri can simply turn and run to link up with Olmo, Asensio and Torres to satisfy their hearts. If those five can jump around the 18-yard box without a challenge, they’ve got plenty of opportunities. And target. This is purely polishing practice.

Is Spain good? Right. Are they good? It’s hard to say, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Belgium 1-0 Canada

It’s a brutal sport, when Canada has jobs and also gets what they deserve? It can also be an exotic sport.

Canada was definitely the better player in the first half and to some extent. They amassed 2.14 in xG in just the first 45 runs and show how many shots they can make. They’ve been greatly blessed by Belgium’s Roberto Martinez, because he’s an idiot who seems to want to deploy the old Marcelo Bielsa 3-3-1-3 with Youri Tielemans in the right wing? At least I think?

Whatever it is, Axel Witsel is completely alone in the Belgian midfield, which means that the Belgian defense, whose bones are very rickety, has barely heard from the Canadian press. . There were plenty of giveaways and sales when Witsel was completely surrounded and the Tielemans got lost in the woods 50 yards from the yard. He also put Eden Hazard in the starting line-up despite only playing about 12 minutes for Madrid this year, and despite a few flashes of light, Hazard saw it.

But the point is, you have to take that into account. Canada does not. They were awarded an early penalty. Alphonso Davies served Thibaut Courtois more like he had just bought him an inning than trying to score a goal against him. They only made three shots on goal in the whole game. And they were lucky that Kevin De Bruyne’s radar seemed to get stuck (LONESTAR!!) throughout the game, as he completely missed a couple of killer passes during the break that we normally see him take. anytime. It really could have been worse.

It should also be better. Canada should have had a second penalty, but we’ll do it. But let’s play fair with Martinez, because after about half an hour he moved the Tielemans back into midfield alongside Witsel and then brought in Amadou Onana at halftime to really solidify that position. Canada had just two shots from the 32nd minute until halftime, compared with the previous 12. As Belgium has more options to bypass the press in its transition to a dual pivot policy, the mistakes Canada has made have dried up.

Canada may be pleased with the performance, but they will have to find someone with a compass in the opposing box.

Goals for the day: Spain certainly offers a buffet, but I’ll have to go with Gavi’s goal it’s the year of Spainorder. This ending is so smug, so smooth, and reassuring that I basically just feel like I have to give it to my girlfriend without arguing:

Does VAR damage anything? Of course! Canada could feel completely confused because they should have awarded a second penalty 10 minutes after the first. Eden Hazard, looking weak as someone who hasn’t played in years, deliberately passed the ball back to Tajon Buchanan in the Belgian penalty area, causing Buchanan to come on. He was then completely stopped by Jan Vertonghen. But because the assistant raised the flag for offside, the foul was ignored. Janny Sikazwe he was never revisited nor asked to, as it is assumed that Vertonghen touched the ball, which I could not find with a microscope.

Sikazwe It was the same referee who blew the final whistle twice when the final whistle blew during AFCON, although it was later revealed that he was suffering from heatstroke. But this is what having two sets of eyes is supposed to solve. This is blinding, and it’s not even looked at.

Did Qatar spoil anything? It seems nothing more than usual.

Did Alexi Lalas say anything stupid? Not today, although his obvious jealousy of not getting the handshake that Clint Dempsey and Stu Holden have from their national team days together is endearing.

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