Germany hopes for Spain match after Japan’s crushing defeat
Germany’s players have accepted a shock World Cup opening defeat to Japan and are determined to find their footing against Spain on Sunday despite poor tournament figures in recent years.
Holding a 1-0 lead after a dominant first half, Germany collapsed after the break and let Japan score twice late in the game on Wednesday, drawing sharp criticism from team captain Manuel Neuer and veteran midfielder Ilkay Guendogan .
The German media and pundits have been no less scathing in their comparisons with the amateur teams. Germany have won just two and lost five of their last eight tournament matches at the 2018 and 2022 World Cups as well as last year’s Euro. This statistic looks even worse when the 2022 Nations League matches are included with another four draws, one loss and only one win.
“It is difficult to say that the statistics are in our favor, but over the years there has been a change in the team, a change of coaches and news players, and that plays a role,” forward Kai Havertz said at his training on Friday. Base in northern Qatar.
“But that’s no excuse. At the end of the day what matters is the tournament and when you look at the stats it’s 1000% too small. We’ve got to turn things around. We’re all in the same boat and know what There is a stake and we will try to improve the figures.
A loss to Spain could see Germany exit the tournament in the first round for the second time in a row since 2018 and the players are desperate to avoid that. Germany will also play Costa Rica, who lost 7-0 to Spain in their last Group E match on 1 December.
“I can understand the negativity of the fans and the media,” Havertz said. “We know we face criticism and not everyone is behind us. But past is past… and it’s a big match on Sunday.”
While pre-tournament discussion focused on whether coach Hansi Flick would deploy a natural centre, Germany’s overall weak performance against Japan, where several players were underperforming, was now the main focus.
“It was a stupid first game and now we are here with a bitter feeling. We are in a bad phase now and that can change very quickly. If we win the match on Sunday, it will be a turnaround for us.