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‘They beat us with their efficiency’: Germany boss Hansi Flick laments ‘bitterly disappointing’ defeat by Japan – after his side were beaten 2-1 despite having 78 per cent possession
Hansi Flick has lamented his Germany side’s ‘bitterly disappointing’ 2-1 loss to Japan in their opening match of the World Cup.
Germany dominated possession throughout and took the lead thanks to a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan, but were then stunned by late goals from Japan’s Ritsu Doan and Tahuma Asano.
The loss leaves the 2014 champions third in group E, meaning they may have to win both of their remaining games against Spain and Costa Rica to avoid elimination at the group stage.
Germany’s World Cup has started in uninspiring fashion with a 2-1 loss to Japan
They dominated possession but were undone by goals from Ritsu Doan and Tahuma Asano
Manuel Neuer said the result put his Germany side ‘under pressure from the start’
Speaking after the game, Flick reflected on Germany’s poor side to the tournament. He said: ‘Japan beat us with their efficiency. It’s bitterly disappointing. We had 78% possession in the first half and had plenty of chances in the second that we failed to take.
‘We can only blame ourselves – we have to make sure we can come out of this, we have to be courageous, we need the aggression in the game that’s necessary at a World Cup.’
His captain Manuel Neuer added that the loss had put extra pressure on the team, saying: ‘I am totally frustrated and angry that we let this game slip, it was not necessary.’
‘After the break we no longer had this game flow and did not play with the same confidence as in the first half.
‘We are now under pressure from the start. That was also the most important game of how you start in a tournament but we messed it up.’
The loss leaves Germany in need of good results in their games against Spain and Costa Rica
For Japan, the win has put them second in the group and in an excellent position to reach the first knockout round.
Their manager, Hajime Moriyasu, told reporters: ‘Our players fought really well. In the last part of the game, they came with the full power – maybe if it was Japan before, we would have lost in that situation. But many of our players went to Germany and every day they grew in that league.
‘This is a big win, but it’s not the end. We will reflect on it and prepare for the next game against Costa Rica.’