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Spain get record win, sleepy Germans punished… highlights of World Cup Day 4

Spain get record win, sleepy Germans punished… highlights of World Cup Day 4
November 24
07:02 2022

Day four of the 2022 FIFA World Cup saw Germany become the latest footballing giant to suffer an upset as Japan came from behind to snatch a dramatic victory over the four-time winners.

Here are six major talking points from Day 4

Spain at their very best

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It was a vintage performance from the Spaniards in their opening game of the World Cup as they thumped Costa Rica 7-0.

With 537 successful passes in the first 45 minutes, Spain completed more passes than any other country has ever done in a World Cup match since 1966.

Everything demonstrated total control and dominance by La Roja. It was a performance befitting a 10-0 victory, as they were ruthless and Costa Rica never looked like scoring.

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The Spanish side had the likes of Dani Olmo, Alvaro Moratta and Ferran Torres to thank for the sterling performance.

Morocco were disciplined

Many considered the Atlas Lions of Morocco as underdogs but the solidity of Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd and Sofyan Amrabat made them resolute and resilient against the firepower of the Luka Modric-led Croatia.

Yassine Bounou and Hakim Ziyech also deserve special mentions for showing their quality in the game.

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Sleepy Germans punished

Germany started well against Japan but ended up losing 2-1. Hansi Flick will be unhappy with the overall display of his team as they seemed to lack creativity in the middle of the park while they were shaky in defence. For a team tipped to win the tournament, it was a below-par performance.

Japan delivers

Japan achieved the unthinkable against Germany, and yes, it is starting to look like that kind of World Cup — where David keeps slaying Goliath.

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Like the game between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, second-half strikes from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty, sealing a result that put Hansi Flick’s men in serious jeopardy.

Ritsu Doan came on and helped them wrestle back control of the game for Japan after going down in the first half, while fellow substitute Takuma Asano scored to make it 2-1.

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Clean sheet for Belgium

Roberto Martinez’s side is known for its defensive solidity and discipline, yet they let in four goals in their previous three games.

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Although they faced a well-coached side and tough customers in the Canadian players, Wednesday marked Belgium’s first clean sheet in four games.

The Belgians ended the game with a 1-0 result.

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