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Germany's Plunge Continues with Stunning 4-1 Defeat to Japan Ahead of Euro 2024

Germany’s Plunge Continues with Stunning 4-1 Defeat to Japan Ahead of Euro 2024

On September 9th, in Wolfsburg, Germany, the nation hosting Euro 2024, Germany, faced a surprising setback as they suffered a 4-1 defeat at their home ground against Japan during an international friendly match. This unexpected loss has exacerbated the existing sense of crisis surrounding the German team, especially in light of their third consecutive defeat, all occurring less than nine months before the upcoming continental tournament.

The German team, known as four-time world champions, previously experienced a disappointing exit from the World Cup group stage last year, a defeat that also involved Japan. Their recent performance raises concerns, with only four victories in their last 17 international matches, leading to uncertainties about the future of their coach, Hansi Flick.<br>

Their next challenge approaches quickly, as they are set to face World Cup finalists France on Tuesday.

Germany’s captain, Ilkay Gundogan, candidly acknowledged the team’s shortcomings: “We have to be honest and admit that Japan was better. They let the ball flow, played in the right spaces, and crafted their goals. They were superior,” Gundogan commented, adding, “We made far too many individual mistakes. We must concede that we are not on the same level as teams like today’s opponents. It’s tough, but the trend speaks for itself.”

Despite a promising start, the German team appeared to lack a clear strategy and were plagued by a lack of confidence and energy, resulting in numerous errors on the field. This allowed their opponents to dominate, and the home fans expressed their frustration with boos and whistles.

Japan managed to break the deadlock in the 11th minute when Junya Ito converted a low cross at the far post, silencing the home crowd. Germany, however, quickly equalized in the 19th minute through a brilliant passing sequence culminating in a left-footed finish by Leroy Sane.

But Germany’s joy was short-lived as Japan struck again just three minutes later, with Ayase Ueda outfoxing goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen after another attack down the right wing. Ter Stegen prevented Japan from extending their lead with a crucial save when Ueda capitalized on a defensive lapse.

Japan continued to threaten, with two quick chances early in the second half, but Ter Stegen’s heroics kept Germany in contention. He first denied Takuma Asano’s close-range shot in the 70th minute and then thwarted Kaoru Mitoma’s rebound attempt.

Asano found redemption in the 90th minute, slotting in a goal that secured Japan’s second consecutive victory over Germany. The visitors added another goal in stoppage time with Ao Tanaka’s header, sealing a memorable win.