Japan’s agonizing defeat in worst World Cup game is good news for beleaguered Germans | Soccer World Cup in Qatar

Costa Rica insulted soccer fans on Sunday. In a game where nothing happened, the team deservedly won 0-1. So Japan is back on the field after the stunt against Germany.

The Japan-Costa Rica game is already more than eighty minutes in, when the impossible happens. Keiser Buller, who had crossed the halfway line for his country until then, then made it 0-1. It will ultimately result in a game in which the least deserving team wins.

32 countries are participating in the World Cup held in Qatar. During the four years, when tournaments are held in Canada, Mexico and the United States, no fewer than 48 teams participate. If this Sunday’s opening game is decisive, the prospect is already bleak.

Japan v Costa Rica was a test for 97 minutes on Sunday. In the worst, most boring and most unattractive match of this World Cup, the Japanese are still trying to do something. Hidemasa Morita went close once, Yuki Soma curled a free kick past keeper Keylor Navas and former PSV player Ritsu Tone tried an individual move, but for the most part the Japanese bit the stiff Costa Rica. Winning a fight that carries even one serious risk at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium is a long way off.

Shuichi Konda watches in amazement as the ball disappears into the goal behind him. © ANP/EPA

Hope for Germany

Well, until the 81st minute. Then ordinary Japan keeper Shuisei Konda had no defense against Buller’s effort, which completely eased the tension in the group. A win for Japan this morning already spells the end for Germany in this World Cup tonight. This is how it would have been if Die Manschaft had lost to Spain. Now the prospects immediately call the German national team, which a few days ago lost so surprisingly to Japan and is under heavy fire in the German media. Costa Rica, who recently fell prey to Spain (7-0), suddenly have opportunities again.

Tonight, after Germany-Spain, there will be more clarity on the continuation of this group. One thing is for sure: the Japan-Costa Rica game will never be talked about again.

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