Japanese fans in the preview of the match between Germany and Japan
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In their attempts to reach the box, Moriyasu’s team had almost exclusively used David Raum’s flank to attempt to set up crosses, at the expense of their most dominating player, Takefusa Kubo, who plays on the left. With the German goal on top, the player who emerged from Real Madrid is entering the game more.

The Manchester City midfielder did not hesitate, finishing off in the middle and giving Germany the advantage, which had dominated the game for a long time.

One of the weapons that the four-time world champions take advantage of is the long balls towards the left side David Raum. After a great pass from Kimmich, the defender tried to elude Gonda, but the goalkeeper ended up bringing him down when the ball was not in dispute and referee Barton had no doubt.

In the final minutes, Flick’s men have already begun to find spaces to finish off, although the Asian defense was attentive to block all the shots and Gonda also reacted attentively to a right foot from Gündogan from medium distance.

The Asians now pack a lot of personnel into the box as Germany gain confidence on the ball and create more chances for danger in three quarters of the pitch. At the moment, they are managing to maintain zero.

Flick’s team attacked with several first-class touches, culminating in a powerful spike from Kimmich that was well defended by goalkeeper Gonda. Gnabry finished off the rebound, but he was ahead.

Curiously, the candidate’s first shot on goal came from a corner. A very good past cross from Kimmich found Rüdiger’s head, but his shot went very close to Shuichi Gonda’s right post.

It is Hansi Flick’s team that currently controls the ball and tries to generate movements that allow quick touch plays. Japan does not shrink and aggressively pressures him.

True to form, the team coached by Moriyasu came out with a very fast attack and Maeda thought he had scored the first goal of the game, but he was in an advanced position when Junya Ito scored the cross.

Iván Barton whistled and started the first match of group E of the World Cup, with a very active Germany in the early stages.

The German and Japanese teams are already carrying out all the formalities prior to the duel. Notably, Manuel Neuer ultimately didn’t come out with the One Love captain tape as previously speculated.

The Asian public lives with great euphoria what will be the debut of their team in Qatar, in a group in which it is not easy to qualify for the round of 16.

Japanese fans in the preview of the match between Germany and JapanADRIAN DENNIS – AFP

The teams of Germany and Japan are already on the field of play at the Khalifa International Stadium, while they warm up before their first match for a World Cup.

German players check out the field of play before facing Japan at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha
German players check out the field of play before facing Japan at the Khalifa Stadium in DohaINA FASSBENDER – AFP

Coach Hajime Moriyasu comes out with an eleven in which he trusts the historic Maya Yoshida and Yuto Nagatomo in defense, but bets on younger faces like Daichi Kamada and the jewel Takefusa Kubo in offense. For his part, former Liverpool Takumi Minamino waits from the bench.

Hansi Flick bets on a closed team, stopping Niklas Süle, usual central, on the right wing, and opting for Kai Havertz in the forward position over the “naturals” in the position, Niclas Füllkrug and Youssoufa Moukoko. The midfield, with Kimmich and Gündogan at the base and Gnabry-Müller-Musiala (the youngest player to play in a World Cup for the country since 1958) in the playmaker, will be essential.

Since it became known that European teams chose not to wear the “One Love” captain’s ribbon they had proposed to protest human rights violations in Qatar, in the face of the possibility that players who wear it could be booked, Germany has been the most critical towards FIFA regarding this measure. This Wednesday, the president of the federation, Bernd Neuendorf, confirmed that even if they decided to take a risk and show it, the highest sports body reserved the right to appeal to its own disciplinary commission in case of incidents of this type and could impose more sanctions, for what he studies to appeal to the TAS: “This is not a welcome sign for us.”

This is how the shirts that the Asian team will wear in their debut look like, which in the previous one had already become one of the most popular among neutral fans.

With a generation that is more talented, faster and younger than the previous ones, Japan will fight against the experience and the poster of established teams such as Spain and Germany and the experience in big events of Costa Rica. “We want to be in the round of 16 or even more, that would mean that we have made history”, wished the Japanese coach, Hajime Moriyasu, in the preview of the duel against the Germans. And it is that the Japanese have not been able to overcome the barrier of the first crossings since they achieved it in the World Cup that they organized, in 2002. Now, for Moriyasu he presented a squad with experience in Europe, since up to 16 footballers play in leagues of the ‘ Old continent’. Daichi Kamada (Eintracht), Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Takumi Minamino (Monaco) or Daizen Maeda (Celtic), are some of the hopes of the Japanese, with Take Kubo (Real Sociedad) and Gaku Shibasaki (Leganés) as football representatives Spanish.

Beyond its good performance in the qualifiers, Germany begins its path to the Qatar 2022 World Cup without her usual favorite outfit, with a group that raises doubts, in the image of her attacker and spiritual leader Thomas Müller. “I wouldn’t say that we are the favorites of the tournament, but there is no team that is above the rest, like in 1994 with Brazil or Spain in 2010,” says the manager of the Oliver Bierhoff team, who has good memories of a situation similar: in 1996, the Mannschaft won the European Championship in England as an unfavorite with a double from Bierhoff in the final. Meanwhile Müller, 33, embodies another of the German questions. Scorer of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with six goals, the Bayern Münich player only returned to training a few days ago, after missing his team’s games in October and November. His role as the emotional leader of the group is key. He is one of the four players remaining from the 2014 world title, along with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Matthias Ginter and attacking midfielder Mario Götze, scorer of the winning goal in that final and a last-minute win for Qatar.

The sports director of the German soccer federation, Oliver Bierhoff
The sports director of the German soccer federation, Oliver Bierhoff

How they got to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The Germans had a comfortable path in the European qualifiers. They qualified by having accumulated 27 points out of 30 in play, nine ahead of North Macedonia in their zone. Meanwhile, Japan finished second in their Qualifying group, with 22 units behind Saudi Arabia (23), although thanks to that harvest they avoided the playoffs, in which Australia finished.

It will be the first confrontation between both teams in a World Cup. They did see their faces in two friendlies throughout history. The first clash was on December 16, 2004. That time, Germany, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, prevailed at the Yokohama International Stadion and thrashed 3-0 with goals from Miroslav Klose (2) and Michael Ballack. Two years later, on May 30, 2006, they tied 2-2 at the BayArena in Leverkusen, with scores from Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Naohiro Takahara (2).

These will be the possible alignments:

Germany: Manuel Neuer; Thilo Kehrer, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck, David Raum; Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gundogan; Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, and Kai Havertz. DT: Hans-Dieter Flick.

Japan: Eiji Kawashima; Hiraki Sakai, Ko Itakura, Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo; Ritsu Doan, Gaku Shibasaki, Daichi Kamada; Takefusa Kubo, Takumi Minamino, and Takuma Asano. DT: Hajime Moriyasu.

Welcome to Germany vs. Japan, first game of Group E of the World Cup, from 10, a zone in which Spain and Costa Rica are also. The four-time world champion arrives in the midst of numerous doubts, including defensive failures, the poor form of her charismatic striker Thomas Müller or Timo Werner’s injury. Meanwhile, the Easterners will pursue their maximum objective: advance to the second wheel. The match will be played at the Khalifa International stadium, with transmission by TyC Sports and DSports. How to watch online: TyC Sports Play, Flow, DGO, Telecentre and Count. Those who have Flow or DGO they can directly tune the channels from the platform. For such services it is required to be a subscriber.


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