World Cup: Itakura and Japan knocked out in the round of 16
Japan are out of the World Cup at the round of 16 stage. Ko Itakura missed the defeat to Croatia on penalties due to suspension.
Ko Itakura’s Japan won 2-1 against Jonas Hofmann’s Germany in the first game in Group E at the World Cup.
Ko Itakura was fit enough to start at centre-half for Japan, having partially torn his MCL in his left knee at the start of September. On the other hand, Jonas Hofmann began on the bench for Germany. The first half was dominated by the Germans and they deservedly went ahead in the 33rd minute. Goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda fouled David Raum in the box and Ilkay Gündogan stepped up to convert the penalty.
Hansi Flick’s team were pushing for a second goal in the second half, but couldn’t find it despite several chances. One of those included Jonas Hofmann’s shot in the 70th minute, two minutes after coming on. However, Japan produced a sensational comeback late on, firstly equalising through Ritsu Doan with 15 minutes to play. Eight minutes later, Takuma Asano completed the turnaround to earn Itakura & Co. all three points. Germany’s next match is on Sunday night against Spain (20:00 CET), while Japan are in action earlier that day against Costa Rica (11:00 CET).
The final Borussia players to appear at the World Cup will be Yann Sommer and Nico Elvedi tomorrow for Switzerland (11:00 CET). They will face Cameroon in Group D.