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‘We are to blame’: German inquest begins after shock World Cup defeat to Japan

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independent.co.uk

Some people were on the pitch. They thought it was all over. Because it was and the 11 Japan players were joined by the rest of the squad, all streaming across the Khalifa Stadium turf, headed for the corner in euphoric, exhilarating celebration of their greatest ever win.

The turn of pace, it seemed, was not confined to the substitutes who overran Germany in a remarkable final half-hour. The buoyant Japanese were energised by the astonishing, by Shuichi Gonda’s quadruple save, by the goals the impact subs Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano delivered, by the sudden sense that, from a seemingly routine victory for Germany, this became the kind of occasion that will be remembered for decades. “A historical victory, to say the least,” stated their manager Hajime Moriyasu.He pronounced himself surprised.

He modestly attributed the humbling of Germany in part to the influence of Germans, dating back to Dettmar Cramer who, like Flick, was a European Cup-winning Bayern Munich manager.

The Japanese goalscorers ply their trade in Germany, but for Freiburg and Bochum, not Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. Flick, meanwhile, lamented how unGerman his side were. “They were more efficient today,” he said.

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