Since the beginning of the World Cup 2022, the Asian giant, Japan, has only lost two matches. They lost just one game in the World Cup 2022. Japan has been regularly playing some high-quality football and successfully defeating big names in the football world.
Heroic Performance in World Cup 2022
Japan was drawn into the “Group of Death” in the World Cup 2022, alongside European heavyweights Spain, Germany, and Costa Rica. The entire football community predicted that Germany and Spain would advance to the round of 16 from Group E. However, Japan had other plans. Defying all the odds, Japan not only made it to the knockout stage from the group stage, but they also topped the group. In the group stage, they defeated both Spain and Germany, only losing a game against Costa Rica. Japan’s heroics forced Germany to exit the World Cup after the group stage for the second consecutive tournament.
After beating Spain and Germany in the group stage, the Japanese side faced Croatia in the round of 16. Despite taking the lead at 43 minutes, they conceded a goal in the second half and eventually lost the match in a penalty shootout.
Post-World Cup Heroics
The Japanese side played six matches after the World Cup. They won four of the matches, drew once, and lost once. They faced mighty European and South American teams and still got the job done.
Japan played against Uruguay in their very first game since the World Cup 2022. The match ended 1:1. They faced another South American team, Colombia, in which the match ended with a scoreline of 2:1 in favor of Colombia. Since their defeat against Colombia, the Japanese side played four matches and went on to win all of them, scoring a massive eighteen goals in the process.
Japan defeated El Salvador with a huge margin of six goals to nil. Afterward, they faced Peru and defeated them with a scoreline of four goals to one. In the recent international break, Germany had the opportunity to take revenge for their group stage exit from the World Cup in a friendly match against Japan. However, Germany failed to do so, and Japan handed another defeat to the German side, this time with much ease and a larger goal difference. Japan thrashed Germany 4:1 in the game. Shortly after defeating Germany, Japan defeated another European team, Turkey. Japan, inspired by K. Nakamura’s brace, defeated Turkey with a score of 4:2.
Nightmare for Germany
The Japanese side has been a headache for the four-time World Cup champion Germany in recent years. Japan has defeated Germany twice, the first of which the Germans will not easily forget. Japan defeated Germany in the World Cup, eventually leading to Germany’s group stage exit.
Similarly, Japan scored four goals against Germany in the recent incounter , and as a consequence, Germany was forced to sack Hansi Flick as the head coach of the German football team.
What’s Next for Japan?
Japan will play in two more friendly matces before starting their World Cup qualifiers campaign in mid-November. Additionally, Japan will be eyeing the AFC Asian Cup, which will start in January 2024 in Qatar. The Japanese team, inspired by young talents playing and developing in European teams, looks more than capable of claiming the Asian Cup next year.