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.
Borussia left the capital empty handed after suffering a 2-1 loss to Union Berlin on Bundesliga matchday 12. The home side turned the game and scored the winning goal in the seventh minute of added time.
The roughly 22,000 spectators at the sold-out Stadion an der Alten Försterei were made to watch a first half where chances were few and far between. The two sides defended well and didn’t allow many opportunities on their goal, and it was no surprise that the opening goal came from a set piece. Nico Elvedi has time and space to nod home Lars Stindl’s corner in the 33rd minute. The second half developed into a tense affair and the Foals were content to sit back and protect their lead, allowing Union possession of the ball while they looked for moments to counter. The pressure paid off for the home side when Hanno Behrens equalised in the 79th minute. With all signs pointing to a draw, there was one last blow for the Foals as Danilho Doekhi (90’+7) headed in with the last touch of the game.
Head coach Daniel Farke was forced to make one change to the side that faces Frankfurt last weekend. Manu Koné missed out through suspension, so Nathan Ngoumou made the first Bundesliga start of his career. Tobias Sippel was named in goal behind a back four of Joe Scally, Marvin Friedrich, Nico Elvedi and Ramy Bensebaini. Julian Weigl and Christoph Kramer played in midfield behind Nathan Ngoumou, Lars Stindl and Alassane Plea, while Marcus Thuram lead the line.
Borussia had to do without Manu Koné (yellow card suspension), Yann Sommer (ankle), Jonas Hofmann (shoulder), Stefan Lainer (Coronvirus), Florian Neuhaus, Ko Itakura (both knee) and Hannes Wolf (shoulder).
7’: First good chance of the game. Haberer shoots from close range. It’s on target, but Joe Scally produces a great block to deflect the ball behind for a corner.
24’: Thuram is fouled and Plea takes the resulting free kick. He hits it well and forces Rönnow into a great top-hand save.
29’: Union have the ball in the net. Khedira shoots from range and it deflects off Becker into the other corner, leaving Sippel with no chance. After a VAR check, the goal is ruled out for a handball on Becker.
33’: Borussia take the lead! Stindl delivers a corner from the right and Elvedi is free to head home from close range. 1-0!
35’: Nearly the second goal! Thuram gets to the ball ahead of Rönnow and dinks over the goalkeeper with a heel touch, but his looping header from a narrow angle lands on the roof of the empty net.
67’: Some wild scenes here. The offside flag goes up on an Union attacker, but the referee plays on. A few shots are blocked and Gladbach scramble really well to clear the ball after Friedrich clears a Ryerson effort off the line, before the referee finally blows his whistle.
77’: Michel sends a long ball towards Behrens. He looks to get one-on-one with Sippel, but Bensebaini gets back to clear the danger.
79’: Union level the game. Diogo Leite crosses to the far post, where Behrens gets there ahead of Sippel to head into an open goal. 1-1.
82’: Trimmel finds Behrens with a corner, but the Union man fires over from inside the area.
86’: Ryerson delivers a cross in and Trimmel heads in. Luckily for us, a VAR check rules the goal out as the Union captain came back from an offside position.
90’+7: Union with the ultimate sucker punch. Leweling delviers a corner and Doekhi heads in at the far post from just yards out with what is effectively the final touch of the game. 2-1.
Union: Rönnow – Doekhi, Knoche, Diogo Leite – Ryerson, Khedira, Puchacz (59' Trimmel), Schäfer (59' Haraguchi), Haberer (74' Leweling) – Siebatcheu (59' Michel), Becker (74' Behrens) // Unused subs: Grill, Baumgartl, Seguin, Thorsby,
Borussia: Sippel – Scally, Friedrich, Elvedi, Bensebaini (90'+1 Jantschke) – Weigl, Kramer – Ngoumou (74' Herrmann), Stindl (85' Borges Sanches), Plea (74' Netz) – Thuram // Unused subs: Olschowsky, Fraulo, Müsel, Noß, Reitz,
Goals: 0-1 Elvedi (33'), 1-1 Behrens (79'), 2-1 Doekhi (90'+7)
Attendance: 22,012 (sold out)
Yellow cards: Michel, Ryerson, Trimmel – Thuram, Sippel
Referee: Harm Osmers