Japan is off to the sweet sixteen round with impressive victories over Germany and Spain
Getting to the world cup is quite an accomplishment, and those who are just happy to be there are not going with the intention of winning. The World Cup victory since its inception in 1930 has only been won by eight countries, Uruguay, Argentina, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil. There has also never been a non-European nation to make the finals, but that may change with the surging Japan team.
Coming into the tournament, team Japan was a +7500 betting odd to win the tournament, but with their recent victories against two powerhouse former champions Germany and Spain, oddsmakers are optimistic they can go as far as the final four.
In Japan’s last game against Spain, they secured a victory by recording World Cup history’s lowest time of possession. This means Spain had the ball for most of the match and dominated the field. In doing so, Japan had to be uber-efficient and make every shot count when they had the ball.
The next match for Japan is Croatia, the runner-up in the 2018 World Cup. They have cruised through their first three matches and have proclaimed themselves the team to beat coming into the tournament. However, they will have to first go through the far east first Samurai Blue.
Japan qualified for seven FIFA World Cups as a national team, playing in the knockout stages in 2002, 2010, and 2018. The Samurai Blue also won four A.F.C. Asian Cups in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. As well as finishing second in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, the team finished second at the 2019 A.F.C. Asian Cup.
The World Cup has always been a time to celebrate every goal a team scores and appreciate that their team is on the biggest stage in the world. The World Cup is full of surprises and upsets, but it is still too early to determine if The Samurai Blue’s historic victories over Germany and Spain will be the biggest.
Image source, Fifa Twitter feed