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Japan's Performance at the World Cup

newsonjapan.com -- Dec 26
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most, if not the most important sports events in the world.

The greatest national teams from all over the world gather to compete in the highest-stakes football tournament of all time. Held every four years, the event is currently underway.

Already, we have reached the semi-finals. Some of the qualified teams that made it are unsurprising (France and Argentina), and others came as quite a bit of shock (Croatia and Morocco). But then again, 2022’s World Cup iteration was just full of surprises.

Many of the teams that have not had the best of luck previously shocked the world in 2022. Standout events include South Korea’s victory over Portugal, Croatia defeating Brazil to enter the semi-finals, and of course, Japan’s win over two of Europe’s best teams. It is precisely these kinds of shake ups that gets people interested in sports betting, and makes the whole tournament a lot more interesting.

Japan’s Performance

Japan surprised the whole world during the event, with their fantastic performance. During the Group Stages, the Samurai Blue won two rounds against two of Europe’s most prominent and beloved teams. The team started off on the right foot, beating Germany with a score of 1 – 2.

Japanese fans were shocked, but delighted at their team’s victory. As some of you may know, Japan’s performance during the 2018 Russia World Cup was not that great. They made it to the Round of 16, but were quickly eliminated by the Belgians. They ended up placing 15th.

So, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that fans did not have the highest of hopes for Japan. However, Samurai Blue managed to blow our minds and shatter out expectations. Though they lost to Costa Rica on Nov 27, they came back with a vengeance on Dec 1, and defeated Spain, 2 – 1. This victory placed them in the Round of 16, where they were scheduled to go up against Croatia.

Japan vs. Croatia

Japan were scheduled to play against the Croatians on December 5. Both teams brought their A game, as quite a lot was riding on this match. And as it turned out, both teams had a fantastic game. In many ways, the two were evenly match, which reflected in the score. The game ended in 1 – 1. Of course, the Round of 16 is an elimination round, so it had to be resolved in a penalty round.

During the penalty round, the Croatians shined. While Japan managed to score a goal, the Croatian goalie, proved to be one of the best goalkeepers at the 2022 World Cup. On the other hand, Croatian strikers also showed their skill, scoring 3 goals, winning the match, and eliminating Japan from the running.

Japanese fans the world over were incredibly disappointed. However, most also acknowledge that Samurai Blue had one of the best performances in the tournament, as well as in the national team’s history. Currently, they hold the 9th position in the 2022 World Cup, a marked improvement from last year.

The Aftermath

While the team might have been expecting a cold reception upon their return, this could not have been further from the truth. Samurai Blue were received as national heroes, with Japanese fans flooding the airport to congratulate and shake the hands of the players who gave it their all. Manager Hajime Moriyasu and captain Maya Yoshida were shocked and delighted at the incredible reception that the team was greeted with.

The team’s marked improvement shows that there is a bright future for Samurai Blue, and Japanese football in general. Perhaps in 2026, Japan will get even further, and maybe even win the whole championship.

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