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 Mönchengladbach secured a thrilling 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in their final Bundesliga game of 2022.
The almost 54,000 fans at BORUSSIA-PARK were treated to chances galore before the hiatus for the World Cup begins, and the Foals couldn’t have made a better start when Jonas Hofmann picked out the bottom corner after only four minutes. A ball over the top allowed Julian Brandt to level the scores, but Gladbach trailed for just seven minutes as Ramy Bensebaini rose highest to head home from Hofmann’s free-kick. That turned into a quickfire double when Marcus Thuram broke away and rounded the goalkeeper to make it 3-1, although BVB were able to reduce their deficit to one before half time courtesy of Nico Schlotterbeck’s follow-up from a set-piece.
The second half wasn’t even 60 seconds old before Manu Koné restored the Foals’ two-goal lead, firing low beyond Gregor Kobel’s reach from the edge of the box. Borussia continued to create chances, notably through Thuram, who could easily have scored a hat-trick with some more clinical finishing. He was able to steal the ball off Mats Hummels and set up Hofmann for a fifth, however, VAR ruled that he had fouled the Dortmund defender and chalked the goal off. The result was never in doubt though and Gladbach saw out the 4-2 win to go into the winter break on a high.
Head coach Daniel Farke was forced into one change due to a positive Covid-19 test for Alassane Plea, meaning captain Lars Stindl returned to the starting XI. Otherwise, the team was unchanged from the midweek trip to Bochum. Jan Olschowsky continued to cover in goal, Joe Scally, Marvin Friedrich, Nico Elvedi and Ramy Bensebaini made up the back four, Manu Koné and Julian Weigl partnered up in midfield, and Stindl joined Jonas Hofmann and Christoph Kramer in supporting lone striker Marcus Thuram.
Apart from Plea, the Foals were also without Conor Noß due to coronavirus, while injuries kept Yann Sommer (ankle), Tobias Sippel (groin), Florian Neuhaus (knee) and Hanes Wolf (shoulder) on the sidelines. There was a return to the squad for Ko Itakura, however, who also made a cameo appearance late on.
2’: The visitors produce the game’s first chance, but Moukoko’s speculative effort from long range is over the top.
4’: The Foals strike first! Stindl is given time to drive forward and pick his pass. Hofmann times his run in behind the defence well and slots the ball into the bottom corner with a first-time finish. 1-0 to Gladbach.
14’: Brandt’s shot from inside the box drifts wide of the goal.
15’: Koné brings the ball out of midfield and decides to go for goal. Kobel is on hand to keep it out though.
19’: The equaliser. Brandt controls Bellingham’s ball over the top with his thigh, before turning and volleying home. 1-1.
26’: Borussia back in front! Hofmann’s free-kick delivery into the centre is powerfully headed in by Bensebaini. 2-1 to Gladbach.
30’: Quickfire double! Thuram knocks the ball past Schlotterbeck on the halfway line and is away. He keeps his cool and rounds Kobel, before finishing into the empty net. 3-1 to Gladbach.
33’: Unreal saves from Olschowsky and Bensebaini! The young goalkeeper first makes a reaction stop from Moukoko’s point-blank volley, while the rebound from Reyna is brilliantly blocked by the Algerian’s last-ditch challenge.
40’: Jan Olschowsky gets both hands up to a Guerreiro free-kick to push the ball behind for a corner.
41’: Dortmund pull one back from the resulting set-piece. Süle’s initial header is saved by Olschowsky, but he can’t do anything about the rebound from Schlotterbeck. 3-2.
46’: Another perfect start! Some great passing play leads to Hofmann finding Koné, who gets the ball out of his feet on the edge of the area and then fires a low shot into the bottom corner. 4-2 to Gladbach.
52’: Thuram is in behind and only has Kobel to beat, but his shot zips narrowly wide of the goal.
54’: Borussia continue to pile on the pressure. Stindl finds Hofmann, who cleverly turns in the box and picks out Thuram, whose effort is blocked away.
59’: Thuram muscles his way past Hummels, but he’s left with a tight angle and can’t beat Kobel.
68’: Thuram steals the ball off Dortmund’s last man Hummels and waits for Hofmann to join him for a two versus one in front of goal, and it’s the easiest of finishes for the Germany international. However, referee Jablonski rules the goal out for a foul by Thuram after consulting VAR.
76’: Thuram is through on goal once again. This time his left-footed shot goes wide of the target.
84’: Modeste tries his luck from range and Olschowsky is more than a match for the shot.
Borussia: Olschowsky – Scally, Friedrich, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Weigl, Koné (88’ Itakura) – Hofmann (90+4’ Netz), Kramer (46’ Herrmann), Stindl (90’ Ngoumou) – Thuram // Unused subs: Brüll, Jantschke, Lainer, Reitz, Borges Sanches
Dortmund: Kobel – Süle, Hummels (78’ Papadopoulos), Schlotterbeck (59’ Modeste), Guerreiro – Can (59’ Özcan), Bellingham – Reyna, Brandt, Malen (71’ Adeyemi) – Moukoko
Goals: 1-0 Hofmann (4’), 1-1 Brandt (19’), 2-1 Bensebaini (26’), 3-1 Thuram (30’), 3-2 Schlotterbeck (41’), 4-2 Koné (46’)
Yellow cards: Stindl, - Hummels, Guerreiro
Referee: Sven Jablonski