World Cup Diary: Japan shake up Group E with comeback win against Germany

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Wednesday’s World Cup game schedule started off slow but bounced back in a big way with Japan’s win over Germany, followed by Spain’s record 7-0 win over Costa Rica.

Here is everything that happened in the World Cup today.

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Ritsu Doan of Japan celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Ritsu Doan of Japan celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Morocco 0, Croatia 0

Morocco and Croatia held a defensive clinic on Wednesday, but unfortunately that meant another goalless draw. In the 2018 World Cup, there was only one goalless draw in the entire tournament. This year there have already been three.

Morocco’s and Croatia’s final position in the group ultimately depends on their results against Belgium, but neither team can afford to take Canada lightly. The competition in Group F is tough.

Japan 2, Germany 1

It wasn’t the Argentina-Saudi Arabia surprise, but Japan’s comeback against Germany was twice as dramatic as Monday’s game. After trailing for 75 minutes, Japan got two late goals from substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano. Japan’s place in the round of 16 is far from cemented, they still have to face a hungry Spain, but it was an incredible result nonetheless.

For Germany, Wednesday marked their third consecutive loss in the opening game of a major tournament and, unlike Argentina, Die Mannschaft are not the highest-ranked team in their group: that title belongs to Spain.

Spain 7, Costa Rica 0

Spain set a record for most goals in a World Cup match in their 7-0 win over Costa Rica on Wednesday. More importantly, they were able to pick up three points and shoot to the top of Group E on goal difference. If it did, it’s safe to assume that Spain would win that tiebreaker.

Japan's players celebrate after the World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Japan’s players celebrate after the World Cup Group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

JAPAN SURPRISES GERMANY IN GROUP E MATCH

Belgium 1, Canada 0

Canada had every chance to take the breath away from Belgium’s wing, but failed to convert any of their 22 shots on target. Belgium, for her part, converted one of her nine attempts and finished with an xG (0.76) lower than Canada’s (2.61). In a tournament full of surprises, one was not on the cards for Canada on Wednesday. Maybe it will come against Croatia on Sunday (11 am ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports App).

GOAL OF THE DAY

Doan deserves all the praise he’s getting for his game-winning goal against Germany, not just because of what it meant for Japan, but because of how impossible the angle was. Seriously, how did that shot get in?

ASSISTANCE OF THE DAY

Toby Alderweireld’s perfectly placed long ball to Michy Batshuayi broke the tie between Belgium and Canada and gave the Red Devils three points in their World Cup opener. Who said that central defenders cannot be midfielders?

SAVING OF THE DAY

Thibaut Courtois showed why he is considered the best goalkeeper in the world against Canada. With Belgium in danger of going down 1-0 due to a handball inside the box, Courtois made a great save on Alphonso Davies.

Some will argue that Courtois should have had to save another penalty in the first half, and they may be right, but in reality, he saved the only one he needed and gave Belgium the victory.

Belgium's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocks a shot during the World Cup Group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Belgium’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocks a shot during the World Cup Group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

MIGHTY MESSI, ARGENTINA WORLD CUP OPEN WITH STUNNING LOSS, NOW FACES AN UPHILL CLIMB

ESSENTIAL MOMENT

Before Canada and Belgium kicked off, FOX Sports analyst Stu Holden warmed up Alphonso Davies on set.

Unfortunately for Canada, Holden is tied to the United States (and retired).

Switzerland vs. Cameroon, 5 am ET on FS1

If we assume that Brazil is going to take top spot in Group G, which seems silly given the number of upsets in the tournament so far, then Switzerland, Cameroon and Serbia are in a race to finish second. Switzerland vs. Cameroon is the first leg of that race.

Uruguay vs. South Korea, 8 am ET on FS1

Uruguay may not be as star-studded as Portugal, but they have tons of quality on their roster and are likely to finish top of the pack, especially with all the noise surrounding Portugal at the moment. But first, he has to go through Son Heung-min and South Korea.

People gather around the official countdown clock showing the time remaining until the start of the 2022 World Cup, in Doha, Qatar, on November 25, 2021.

People gather around the official countdown clock showing the time remaining until the start of the 2022 World Cup, in Doha, Qatar, on November 25, 2021.
(AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

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Portugal vs. Ghana, 11 a.m. ET on FOX

After a disastrous start to the Premier League season with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance to make everything right with a great comeback performance on the World Cup stage; anything less would be seen as a failure for one of the best players of this generation. .

Brazil vs. Serbia, 2 pm ET on FOX

Brazil saw their rival Argentina lose to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. They will hope to avoid the same fate against a much tougher Serbia side led by the forward duo of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic. In any case, it should be fun.

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