It may be happening again for Germany. The most consistent team in World Cup history, the ever-presents in the knockout stages for decades, are now threatened with a second consecutive early exit after another shock defeat to east Asian opposition.
For South Korea in 2018, read Japan in 2022. After Germany’s worst World Cup in 80 years, this might be their worst in four.
They might have to beat Spain next week if they are to survive.If Saudi Arabia’s comeback against Argentina, Japan’s was almost as seismic, nearly as seminal.
It was still more remarkable as Germany had enjoyed a first hour of utter dominance. Their inability to score a second goal came a greater cost than looked likely when Japan’s first half brought a mere 62 passes – fewer than Antonio Rudiger and Nico Schlotterbeck each managed – and one, off-target effort to Germany’s 13.Yet Japan went from muted to magnificent.Read more on independent.co.uk