World Cup 2022 key events: Japan’s stunning win on Day 4 in Qatar

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Japan defeated mighty Germany, Spain beat Costa Rica, Morocco and Croatia nil, Belgium won over Canada.

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Japan recorded a stunning victory over Germany on the fourth day of the World Cup, almost equaling Saudi Arabia’s sensational victory over favorites Argentina on the third day of the tournament.


Wednesday’s match ended in a 2-1 victory for Japan over the mighty Germans, a country whose teams have won the World Cup four times.

Many would be wondering what other unprecedented upsets the World Cup 2022 Qatar will have in store as the sport moves towards the finals.

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In the second day’s four fixtures, Spain beat “Los Ticos” 7–0 to give Costa Rica a lesson in world-class football, while Morocco and Croatia finished their matches scoreless in what some saw as the worst. The performance looked on as Belgium triumphed over Canada in an entertaining sporting encounter.

Here’s a quick guide to all you need to know about Day 4 of the Qatar World Cup 2022 – Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Joshua Kimmich of Germany reacts after Japan scores during the World Cup Group E football match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Matthias Schrader/AP Photo]

morocco vs croatia

Morocco and Croatia started the hotly anticipated game at 1pm local time (10:00 GMT) at the Al Bayt Stadium, which quickly turned into an uneventful high-intensity match.

Croatia had a disappointing start, and their chances to score were sparse, as the Atlas Lions contained the Croatians for most of the game, but then failed themselves to manage a breakthrough in Wednesday’s goalless draw.

Croatia’s best moments hinged on Luka Modric, who was given the freedom to float freely up and down the pitch, with football’s traditional midfield roles not applicable to the Croatian captain.

Moroccan player puts arm around Croatian player's neck as the latter wrestles with the ball
A Croatian player takes possession during the match against Morocco in Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/ Al Jazeera]

The Moroccan looked to Hakim Ziyech for inspiration as the Chelsea winger was their most dangerous attacker in the early stages. Despite their hard work, the final products were not the target.

While the encounter was low on action, it was at least high on intensity as both sides battled for midfield supremacy much to the delight of the loud supporters of the Atlas Lions. Despite the draw, the Moroccan fans were in high spirits after the match.

“I badly wanted to win,” Moroccan fan Mohamed El Yamiq, 42, from Mohammedia near Casablanca told Al Jazeera.

“It was a very boring game… but it will do for now. It is a good booster for us when we play with others in groups.

Croatia’s Modric said after the match that it was “a tough game, especially in the first 15 minutes”, adding that his team had done better in the second half.

Croatia will now look to their game against Canada on Sunday when Morocco face Belgium.

Moroccan player with arms outstretched, in motion, to kick the ball
Morocco in action against Croatia in Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Germany vs Japan

Germany against Japan began at 4pm (13:00 GMT) at the Khalifa International Stadium and few could have expected what was about to happen.

Japan created another earthquake at the Qatar World Cup 2022 when they came from behind and recorded a stunning 2-1 win over the Germans.

Germany were on top after a first-half penalty by Ilkay Gundogan shocked Argentina in a 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after being a goal ahead.

Several German chances then fell incomplete and poor defending helped the Japanese regain their composure and come back.

Being a goal down, the Japanese appeared to change their tactics and became more aggressive in the German half, taking the initiative when the Germans tried to keep their lead.

But goals from Ritsu Doon in the 75th minute and Takuma Asano in the 83rd gave Japan its biggest World Cup win ever.

Germany captain Manuel Neuer told broadcaster ARD after the match, “It’s a big disappointment and a disappointment.” “We made the opponent strong. The last wish made the difference. Japan believed they could win while we thought we could hold the lead.

German coach Hansi Flick said: “It is extremely disappointing. We are angry that we lost the game because we had chances. We have to look ahead. We have a chance for six points.”

Japan’s Maya Yoshida told beIN Sports: “That’s the beauty of football, sometimes it happens! Now the spotlight is on us, it’s time to dance.

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said: “We knew we had to defend better. So I changed the system. The players knew immediately what I meant and how they should react.

We celebrated a great victory but it continues. We will also prepare for the next game.

With the loss, Germany now fear an early exit from the tournament.

“We made history today!” Fellow supporters walked out of the Khalifa International Stadium waving flags, Japan fan Kosuke told Al Jazeera.

Kosuke said that he didn’t expect his team to beat Germany but now nothing can stop Samurai Blue.

Kosuke said with a grin on his face, “They’ll lose their heads back home, and maybe they’ll get a day off tomorrow like in Saudi Arabia.”

Asano kicks the ball as the goalkeeper bends over to stop it.
Takuma Asano of Japan scores his second goal against Germany in Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Matthew Childs/Reuters]

spain vs costa rica

The Spaniards and the Costa Ricans began their game at 7:00 pm (16:00 GMT) at the Al Thumama Stadium and was the earliest match for the World Cup.

Not since Pelé in 1958 had a young player like Spain’s Gavi scored at a World Cup. The 18-year-old midfielder led the way on Wednesday as Spain secured the biggest World Cup victory in their history, thrashing Costa Rica 7-0.

With Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri starting the match, Spain also became the first European country in 60 years to have two teenagers in the line-up for a World Cup match.

“I could never have imagined this,” said Gavi, who was named the game’s most valuable player. “I know I am the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it is different and I give my best,” he added.

Gavi smiles with his hands up, the fingers of both hands are pressed together except the pinky, both are up
Gavi of Spain celebrates scoring his fifth goal against Costa Rica at Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar on November 23, 2022 [Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

Spain’s young side left no chances of a turnaround in the first half with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres scoring one goal each. Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata added to the tally in the second half.

Olmo’s goal was Spain’s 100th at the World Cup, becoming the sixth country in the tournament’s history to score more than 100 times. According to match data from the Opta Sports analytics platform, it was the first time Spain had scored seven goals in a World Cup match and the first time a team had completed 1,000 passes in 90 minutes of play in the tournament.

Costa Rica looked underwhelmed throughout the game, failing to make a single attempt at scoring a goal. The team came to Qatar hoping to repeat their stunning quarter-final finish in Brazil in 2014 and avoid a repeat of their winning performance four years earlier at the World Cup in Russia.

Costa Rica’s coach Luis Fernando Suárez said after the match, “We didn’t keep possession as we should have.” “We couldn’t complete three or four passes.”

The Costa Rican team strolling along the sidelines, around the field
The Costa Rican team at Al Thumama Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Only five nations have scored more goals than Spain in the World Cup – Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Italy and France.

belgium vs canada

The teams of Belgium and Canada met at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium at 10:00 pm (19:00 GMT), where Canada beat Belgium on the pitch but did not win the match.

Canada lost 1–0 to a Belgian team, which weathered a fierce Canadian storm of soccer prowess to score a goal and take the game.

Canada had the misfortune of returning empty-handed against the world number two team. Belgium managed only nine attempts at a goal while Canada had 21 attempts.

Junior Hoillet of Canada controls the ball during the World Cup Group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Junior Hoillet of Canada controls the ball during the World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Canada at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. [Martin Meissner/AP Photo]

Canada failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities, but still stood their ground by preventing their powerful opponents from settling into the match.

Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved a penalty early in the first half and teammate Micky Batshuayi scored on the stroke of half-time to give Belgium the win.

Canada’s manager John Herdman said of his team’s performance after the match, “They showed they belonged here tonight.”

“With performances like this, I told the players “‘We just get on to the next job.’ I’m proud of what he did, really proud. He proved that he can play here.

With this win, Belgium are now on top of Group F with 3 points.

Herdmann said he hoped Canada’s performance against Belgium would earn his team a little more respect from future opponents.

“Teams will know what we do and how we go about our business. The effort was unreal. If we can be more ruthless in that attack, we’ll get something out of these games.” is open,” he said.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said after the game that the team was second best on the pitch, but regarded the victory as an important foundation on which Belgium could build their tournament campaign.

Canada next play Croatia on Sunday and Belgium will play Morocco on the same day.

Michy Batshuayi of Belgium scored the goal.
Michy Batshuayi of Belgium scores his first goal against Canada on November 23, 2022 at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar [Matthew Childs/Reuters]

Off pitch:

German Interior Minister Nancy Feiser, who is also responsible for the Games, wore a “One Love” armband at the Germany game on Wednesday, where she sat next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Fazer posted a photo of himself wearing the band on Twitter with the hashtag #OneLove.

Fazer was wearing the armband under a pink blazer, which he took off during the first half, news agency DPA reported.

“In today’s time, it is inconceivable that FIFA does not want people to openly stand up against tolerance and discrimination. It doesn’t fit our times and it isn’t fair to the people,” Feser said during a visit to a German Football Association event in Doha ahead of the game.

Germany players cover their faces during a team photo before their World Cup opener against Japan on Wednesday, in protest against FIFA’s threat to sanction players for wearing “Vanlove” armbands.

The gesture came in front of dozens of photographers after world football’s governing body threatened to allow players to wear rainbow-coloured armbands.

The captains of seven European teams had planned to wear armbands as part of an anti-discrimination campaign, but footballers backed out after threats of disciplinary action.

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