Germans ahead with Gundogan from a penalty, then the Asian national team goes wild in the second half and scores with Doan and Asano

    From our correspondent Fabio Licari

    November 23rd
    – Doha (Qatar)

    Japan rather than Germany. Japan wins, like Arabia with Argentina. Deservedly. The unpredictable happens at the world debut. Like four years ago at the first with Mexico (and then at the last with South Korea), the Germans collapse. Germany dominated for a time, scored only one goal, from a penalty, through Gundogan, because the center forward was a serious problem, and were put down in the second half. Japan is transformed by three substitutions and a three-man defense. Doan and Asano, the best, are ruthless, elusive. The defense sleeps, 2-1. Germany are left with a crossbar, a post, endless chances rejected by Gonda, but a Gerd Muller would have been useful.


    Yet there is only Germany in the first half, but the goal remains a mystery. There is no 9, in the end the choice falls on Havertz, with Muller behind him. And it’s no coincidence that the 1-0 came only on a penalty for a foul by goalkeeper Gonda: a slightly clumsy tackle on Raum who was very free on the left thanks to an illuminating opening from Kimmich. Gundogan made no mistake, it was the 33rd minute, and until then Germany crushed the Japanese in their own half, however only shooting from outside with Kimmich and Gundogan. The attackers – Musiala, Havertz, Muller – are too crushed and feel the breath of the defenders on their shoulders. Germany is only nominally lined up with the 4-2-3-1, in fact it occupies the whole front of attack horizontally, but has little imagination in the disengagement and little speed. But try. Instead Japan, after a couple of very fast counter-attacks led by the right winger Ito, closed in defense and limited themselves to relaunching the centre-forward Maeda, mangy and fast, but forced to contend with the giant Rudiger who always had the upper hand. If coach Moriyasu doesn’t change something, goodbye: maybe he didn’t understand that now he has to recover.


    And he understood it perfectly. It’s the changes that decide the game. First Asano, then Minamino and Doan are the protagonists of a fantastic comeback. Germany hits the crossbar (splintered) with Gnabry, a post with Gundogan, and thinks it’s over and slows down. Japan switched to a three-man defense in the second half, the goalkeeper performed three miracles on Hofmann and Gnabry, and between the 31st and 38th minutes he struck. 31′: Minamino shoots from the left, Neuer blocks, Doan with a sure shot, 1-1. 38′: relaunch, Asano shoots on the offside line and Schlotterbeck doesn’t catch him, ball under the crossbar, 2-1. A dream second half. Germany in pieces.