Day 4 of the Qatar World Cup 2022 started with Croatia vs. Morocco, who put up another boring display of the tournament; the game ended in a draw. Judging by the first game of day 4, many would have predicted it would be boring.
However, there was a dramatic change in the day’s tempo after Japan outplayed and outclassed Germany. Just like when Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina with a 2-1 win, Japan moved past Germany. Germany vs. Japan happened in the same fashion as Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia — Germany scored first from the penalty spot before Japan equalized and took over.
After Manchester City’s IIkay Gundogan scored from the spot, Ritsu Doan of Japan equalized 15 minutes before another substitute, Asano, scored the winning goal. This is another case of the less favored team winning the game at the World Cup.
Spain was simply unfazed and dominant in every part of their game against Costa Rica — It can be compared to the case of beating an inexperienced person hands down in a football video game. It was simply magic and entertaining. Spain spanked Costa Rica with seven goals to nil, with goal contributions coming from Barcelona players.
Gavi set up Dani Olmo for the first Spain goal before Marco Asensio put another one into the net. Ferran Torres scored two before Carlos Soler, Alvaro Morata, and Gavi finished the game for Spain.
After 36 years without playing at the World Cup, Canada returned with a disappointing loss, although they dominated every part of the match. They had about 20 shots on the goal but didn’t get one into the net. Belgium will have to thank their stars as they were outplayed by Canada, who were determined to make a good impression. However, a penalty miss from Alphonso Davies ensured that the Belgians got away with the whole 3 points.
Morocco vs. Croatia Highlights and Summary
The game between Morocco and Croatia was one of the worst in the world cup, so nothing significant happened during the game. Croatia was a side that had little intent to score, while Morocco was more concerned about taking a point home.
Croatia talisman Luca Modric has tried his best to set up his countrymen for a goal during the game to no avail. As early as 6 minutes into the game, the midfielder made a cross to Gvardiol, who didn’t make anything of it.
Morocco got their chance in the 18th minute when Ziyech put in a cross to En-Nesyri, who read the ball wrong.
Another chance came for Modric 2 minutes before halftime, but he put the ball over the bar before the whistle blew.
During the second half, nothing much happened, with Modric missing chances and Morocco pressing high to keep the score sheet equal. The game ended with a draw, and it was Croatia’s first time since 2006 to play a game to a draw at the World Cup.
4-3-3: Bono, Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah, Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal.
Sabiri, Ezzalzouli, Hamdallah, Allah.
4-3-3: Livakovic, Lovren, Sosa, Gvardiol, Modric, Kovacic, Brozovic, Vlasic, Perisic, Kramaric.
Majer, Orsic, Livaja, Pasalic.
Germany vs. Japan Highlights and Summary
The game between Germany and Japan was another major highlight of the world cup. Germany is one of the top 15 countries in FIFA rankings, and Japan is not even in the top 20.
The game started with the two countries matching each other’s intensity. Nothing much happened in the first opening minutes until Japan scored in the 8th minute, but the goal was ruled offside.
Japan looked like the better team in the game until a penalty was awarded to Germany in the 31st minute, IIKAY Gundogan drove it home from the spot to give Germany the lead. Jamal Musiala looked to make it two goals for Germany in the 44th minute when his strike moved over the bar. Germany scored another goal a minute before halftime by Kai Havertz, but VAR called it offside.
The match looked like it was over for Japan before Ritsu Doan equalized in the 75th minute before Takuma Asano made it 2-1 in the 83rd minute. It was a wonderful game for Japan, who proved that there were no favorites at the World Cup.
(4-2-3-1, right to left): Neuer, Schlotterbeck, Sule, Rudiger, Raum, Kimmich, Gundogan, Musiala, Gnabry, Muller, Havertz
(4-3-3, right to left): Gonda, Sakai, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Tanaka, Endo, Ito, Kamada, Kubo, Maeda
GER — Ilkay Gundogan (33)
JAP — Ritsu Doan (74)
JAP — Takuma Asano (83)
Spain Vs. Costa Rica Highlights and Summary
Before the world cup, Group E was dubbed the group of death, but Spain has proved that they have all it takes to smash those on their way.
Spain always has a thing for making history at tournaments. After scoring seven goals to nil at the World Cup, they became the first country to score the highest number of goals in one game in the tournament. Their young midfielder, Gavi, also became the youngest player to score for Spain at the World Cup and one of the youngest behind Pele.
The game had started with Dani Olmo scoring the first goal in the 11th minute, with Marco Asensio doubling the lead 10 minutes later.
Before halftime, Barcelona forward Ferran Torres scored from the penalty spot and another from open play. Pedri and Gavi were among the game’s major highlights, with Gavi scoring the 5th goal.
Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata came in as substitutes to score, making the scoreline seven goals to nil. Costa Rica will surely have a big mountain to climb as they have a game with Japan on Sunday.
(4-3-3, right to left): Simon, Azpilicueta, Rodri, Laporte, Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Pedri, F. Torres, Asensio, Olmo.
Alvaro Morata, Nico Williams, Carlos Soler, Alex Balde, Koke
(5-4-1, right to left): Navas, Martinez, Calvo, Duarte, Fuller, Oviedo, Campbell, Borges, Tejeda, Bennette, Contreras.
Ruiz, Aguilera, Matarrita, Watson
SPA – Dani Olmo (11), Marco Asensio (21), Ferran Torres (31, 54), Gavi (74), Carlos Soler (90), Alvaro Morata (90+2)
Canada vs. Belgium Highlights and Summary
Belgium got lucky with their Canada fixture as the Canadians had more than 20 shots (on and off target) — Even more, Canadian left-back Alphonso Davies missed a crucial penalty that could have given them a point.
The game started with Canada pressing very high and Belgium being pushed on the defensive. However, Michy Batshuayi saved the day for Belgium just before halftime, and the scoreline remained that way till after the game. But, Belgium might need to reconsider their tactics as they failed to impress at the World Cup — They are ranked 2nd in FIFA country rankings.
(3-4-2-1): Courtois; Dendoncker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Catsagne, Tielemans, Witsel, Carrasco; De Bruyne, E Hazard; Batshuayi
(3-4-2-1): Borjan; Johnston, Steven Vitoria, K Miller; Hoilett, Hutchinson, Eustaquio, Laryea; Buchanan, Davies; David
Today’s Games at the Qatar World Cup 2022
|Switzerland vs. Cameroon||G||AL Janoub|
|Uruguay vs. South Korea||H||Education City|
|Portugal vs. Ghana||H||Stadium 974|
|Brazil vs. Serbia||G||Lusail|