The Japanese football team was ranked 24th in the FIFA rankings when they came into the FIFA World Cup. They were placed in a challenging group that had the mighty Germany, Strong Spain, and composed Costa Rica sides. It was never going to be a walk in the park for the Japanese side as many people expected them to finish last in their group. However, the way the Japanese players performed in the group-stages of the FIFA World Cup, that is exemplary and deserves all the appreciation.
Japan National Football Team – Key Player: Daichi Kamada
Daichi Kamada, age 26 now plays as Attacking Midfield for Eintracht Frankfurt. Daichi Kamada helped Eintracht Frankfurt win the UEL (UEFA Europa League) last season and was the second most valuable player in the team.v
Last season, he played 32 times and started 23 times, contributing 4 goals and 3 assists. In last season’s UEL (UEFA Europa League) final, Daichi Kamada scored a key shot to help Eintracht Frankfurt to claim the championship.
Japan National Football Team vs Germany – FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar:
Japan had started their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign against the four-time World Champion Germany. Japan had conceded a goal in the first half and were down by 1-0 at the end of first half. It seemed like the German team would easily defeat them with a considerable margin. However, the Japanese players showed great character and grit in the final moments of the match as two goals came in the 75th and 83rd minutes of the play. Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano were the scorers on the historic occasion as Japan did an upset by beating the mighty Germany with a margin of 2-1.
Japan National Football Team vs Costa Rica – FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar:
Everyone expected Japan to win their second group match and qualify for the round of 16. Japan had won against the mighty Germany with a score of 2-1 while Costa Rica had suffered a demoralizing loss against Spain with a score of 7-0. It was a no match. However, Costa Rica competed well to remain in the contest as the first half finished without a goal.
In the 81st minute, Keysher Fuller scored a goal for Costa Rica to put them in front. The Japanese players tried their best to equalize but failed to do so, as Japan suffered an unexpected loss at the hands of Costa Rica.
Japan National Football Team vs Spain – FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar:
Japan had to either draw or win their final group match against Spain while hoping that their Goal difference remains better than Germany to qualify for the round of 16. No one had many hopes from the Japanese team as they had lost against Costa Rica in an unexpected fashion.
The Spanish team has looked in red-hot form this year and are one of the strongest title contenders. They stamped their authority at the start of the game with a goal in the 11th minute of play. Alvaro Morata was the scorer who put Spain in front.
At halftime, the scoreline read 1-0. The only thing that gave Japan some hope was that they had won from a similar position against the Germans. A similar pattern was repeated in the second half as Japan scored in the 48th and 51st minutes of play to make it 2-1 in their favor. The match finished with that scoreline, and Japan qualified for the Round of 16, where they will play against Croatia.
Japan vs Spain Squads
Japan Starting XI: Gonda, Taniguchi, Yoshida, Itakura, Nagatomo, Morita, Ito, Tanaka, Kamada, Kubo, Maeda
Spain Starting XI: Unai Simón; Azpilicueta, Rodri, Pau Torres, Balde; Busquets, Pedri, Gavi; Nico Williams, Olmo; Morata.