World: Friendlies
1 - 4
(1 - 2)
L. Sané (19)
J. Ito (11), A. Ueda (22), T. Asano (90), A. Tanaka (90)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Germany's troubles continue with heavy loss to Japan

Germany remain in deep crisis after an embarrassing 1-4 home defeat to Japan.
Germany's troubles continued tonight as Hansi Flick's team lost 1-4 to Japan in a friendly at the Volkswagen Arena.

The defeat, Germany's fourth in their last five games, piles more pressure on the already under-fire Flick, who is in danger of losing his job after a poor run of form since the World Cup.

It took Japan just 11 minutes to take the lead tonight after a well-executed attack down the right flank. Yukinari Sugawara found space to whip in a low cross which Junya Ito met at the near post, with the ball hitting Antonio Rüdiger on its way into the net.

However, Germany hit back quickly through Leroy Sané, who equalized after 19 minutes. Florian Wirtz showed great vision to pass the ball into the path of the Bayern winger, who placed a left-footed shot beyond the reach of Japan goalkeeper Keisuke Osako.

Then came another setback for the German team. The visitors again attacked down the right, where Sugawara found Ito. His cross found Ayase Ueda, who reacted swiftly to slot the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen on 21 minutes.

Leroy Sané did everything he could to set up Florian Wirtz for an equalizer just after the half-hour mark, but the Leverkusen youngster sent the ball flying over the Japanese goal.

Shortly before the break, Japan almost extended their lead at the other end when Ayase Ueda latched onto a pass from the German defense and went one-on-one with ter Stegen. But this time he couldn't beat the Barcelona keeper.

Germany tried to pile the pressure on Japan in the second half, but despite controlling possession, they struggled to create clear-cut chances.

In fact, ter Stegen made several fine saves before conceding a third goal just before the final whistle. Japan stole the ball from Robin Gosens and went two-on-one with ter Stegen, who couldn't prevent Bochum's Takuma Asano from putting the score at 3-1.

Things went from bad to worse when Ao Tanaka, unmarked, headed in the fourth to put the final nail in the coffin at 4-1.

After another disappointment, Germany will now look to show a different face when they take on France on Tuesday. But after tonight's performance, it's hard to see them getting back to winning ways against Didier Deschamps' star-studded side.

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