Roy Keane has hit out at Germany’s “schoolboy” defending because the 2014 World Cup winners were stunned in one other major upset in Qatar following Saudi Arabia’s conquer Argentina on Tuesday. Hansi Flick’s side, who’re among the many favourites to lift the trophy, were leading 1-0 within the second half through Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty before collapsing to the Asian underdogs, who greater than deserved their victory after showing immense spirit to fight their way back into the sport.
But Germany might be kicking themselves for the way in which they let this match get away from them, having enjoyed large periods of dominance.
Chelsea forward Kai Havertz thought he’d made it 2-0 before the break – only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
The wonderful Jamal Musiala also tore Japan’s defence apart on several occasions but he couldn’t find the goal, lashing the ball over the bar on two separate occasions.
Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda was forced into several smart saves to maintain his side in the sport before Ritsu Doan levelled things up within the seventy fifth minute.
Things would get even higher for Japan though when former Arsenal striker Takuma Asano raced through on goal on the counter-attack before controlling brilliantly and smashing home from the tightest of angles.
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“But some teams park the bus, you sit in a low block. Sometimes you do not have an option, you only need to return but there was still that threat. The manager needed to sort that, there was players high up the pitch.
“I feel the bravery from this team today is where I take my hat off to them.”
Ian Wright had also identified Niklas Sule’s crazy decision to drop back from the free-kick – playing goalscorer Asano onside.
“Here, he’s at fault here because that is only a free-kick. You are not meant to see a goal just like the second goal Japan scored,” said the previous Arsenal striker, who called out the Borussia Dortmund centre-back for the costly lapse in concentration.
“Watch Sule at the highest of the image, he has now dropped in and kept him [Asano] onside.
“But from here, this ball travelling so far as it has. Have a look at this touch, that is quality after which bang – the finish. Sule doing that and him getting into and ending it, they deserved that.”
Karen Carney was also critical of Neuer, despite praising Asano’s clinical nature on the break after effectively making something out of nothing.
She added: “I don’t desire to take anything away from that touch, that touch is phenomenal.
“But he’s got to return out and encroach, he shouldn’t be getting beat from there. But I don’t desire to take anything away from Asano, it’s a superb touch and having the courage to run in behind.
“The defending is poor but I actually don’t desire to take anything away from him because that’s world class.”
Germany at the moment are extra pressure to deliver on Sunday, after they face Spain in one other difficult contest.