World Cup news today as Harry Kane awaits ankle scan results

World Cup news today as Harry Kane awaits ankle scan results

England continue their Qatar World Cup 2022 campaign on Friday with Harry Kane’s involvement unclear.

The Three Lions forward is awaiting results of a scan after picking up an ankle injury in the 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday with Kane’s involvement against the United States on Friday unclear.

England manager Gareth Southgate had downplayed concerns over his fitness in the press conference immediately following the Iran game. “I think Harry’s fine,” the manager said of the 2018 Golden Boot winner. “I mean, it obviously looked a bad tackle but he carried on in the game and we took him off, really, because we felt it was a moment we could do that.”

In another busy day in Qatar, contenders Croatia, Germany, Spain and Belgium are all in action. While Saudi Arabia’s shock victory over Argentina continues to make waves around the world.

Follow live World Cup news today below:

World Cup: Latest news from Qatar 2022

  • England wait on Harry Kane scan results after captain injures ankle

  • France defender Lucas Hernandez ruled out of rest of tournament

  • But France begin title defence with 4-1 victory over Australia

  • German Vice Chancellor encourages team to wear OneLove armband

  • Morocco and Croatia play out goalless draw in Group F

  • Follow Germany vs Japan live updates with our blog below

  • Pep Guardiola signs two-year Man City contract extension

  • Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after mouth-covering pre-match protest

Spain vs Costa Rica

16:01 , Kieran Jackson

Thanks for joining us for another huge shock in this World Cup full of upsets, with Japan earning a famous victory over Germany in Group E!

Second-half goals from Japan substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano turned the game at the Khalifa International Stadium on its hand - and left Hansi Flick’s side shellshocked!

Switch over now to follow live coverage of Spain vs Costa Rica in the 4pm kick-off in Qatar!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Germany 1-2 Japan: Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

15:53 , Kieran Jackson

Germany claim Fifa “denied us a voice” after their players covered their mouths in a World Cup statement before their Group E match with Japan.

It is the latest development in the row with the world’s governing body over the “One Love” initiative, with Fifa censoring Germany and other teams in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

The four-time World Cup winners lined up for the photo opportunity on the pitch before the Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium, collectively covering their mouths.

A statement from the German FA read: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

The German players also wore rainbow sleeves on their training tops during the warm-up. German federal minister of the interior and community Nancy Faeser could be seen in the stands wearing the One Love armband before kick-off.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

World Cup: England optimistic captain Harry Kane will be fit for USA clash after ankle knock

15:43 , Kieran Jackson

England are optimistic that Harry Kane will be fit to face the United States, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford confirming the skipper was “fine” and trained with teammates.

The 29-year-old went down gripping his right foot in pain after being caught by a poor Morteza Pouraliganji challenge shortly after half-time in Monday’s 6-2 Group B win against Iran.

Kane played on until the 75th minute but was seen leaving England’s World Cup with a slight limp and his right ankle lightly strapped.

The Football Association remained tight-lipped about Kane’s fitness on Tuesday, but it is understood the striker was due for a scan before Friday’s clash with the USA.

Teammates are optimistic that Kane will be fine and Pickford allayed concerns when speaking at Al Wakrah Sports Complex base on Wednesday.

“I think he is good, probably just a little bit sore,” the Three Lions goalkeeper said. “I’m sure he is fine, he was out on the grass with us today which is good. He is our captain.”

The development is a boost for England, whose manager Gareth Southgate had downplayed concerns over the issue immediately after the Iran game.

England optimistic Harry Kane will be fit for USA clash after ankle knock

Germany 1-2 Japan

15:36 , Kieran Jackson

Here’s the moment Japan’s victory was confirmed!

It puts Japan top of the group ahead of Spain vs Costa Rica at 4pm.

Germany are bottom. They lost their first match in Russia in 2018 against Mexico and they’ve done so again in 2022. It’s a big blow for the four-time world champions.

Work to do for Hansi Flick and his side...

Germany 1-2 Japan

15:23 , Kieran Jackson

Joyous scenes at the Khalifa International Stadium!

It’s Japan’s first ever victory over Germany - and what a time to get it! They face Costa Rica next.

Germany have it all to do against Spain, who play Costa Rica in today’s 4pm (GMT) kick-off.

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(Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)

Germany 1-2 Japan - MATCH REPORT

15:17 , Kieran Jackson

By Richard Jolly at the Khalifa International Stadium

It may be happening again for Germany. The most consistent team in World Cup history, the ever-presents in the knockout stages for decades, are now threatened with a second consecutive early exit after another shock defeat to east Asian opposition. For South Korea in 2018, read Japan in 2022. After Germany’s worst World Cup in 80 years, this might be their worst in four. They might have to beat Spain next week if they are to survive.

If Saudi Arabia’s comeback against Argentina, Japan’s was almost as seismic, nearly as seminal. It was still more remarkable as Germany had enjoyed a first hour of utter dominance. Their inability to score a second goal came a greater cost than looked likely when Japan’s first half brought a mere 62 passes – fewer than Antonio Rudiger and Nico Schlotterbeck each managed – and one, off-target effort to Germany’s 13.

Yet Japan went from muted to magnificent. Their starters had scarcely impressed. Their substitutes did, scoring both goals, changing the game with their energy and excellence, leaving Germany stunned. Hajime Moriyasu felt the alchemist in the dugout as the men he introduced had an extraordinary effect.

Japan’s leveller came from a combination of two who had only been on for a matter of minutes, Takumi Minamino drawing a save from Manuel Neuer with a cross-shot and Ritsu Doan quickest to the rebound to slot home. It had a certain cruelty for Neuer. For 70 minutes, he had been a spectator, his last action on the global stage being to lose the ball on the left wing, 80 yards out of his goal as Heung-Min Son went on to score for South Korea in 2018. As Neuer became the first German goalkeeper to appear in four World Cups, he made a stunning save from Junya Ito, before Hiroki Sakai contrived to miss when he should have scored. Yet a early contender for stop of the tournament became a footnote, merely delaying Japan’s stunning progress.

They completed a turnaround when Ko Itakura’s free kick was pumped forward and Takumo Asano reacted fastest, took the ball down with a delectable touch, evaded Schlotterbeck and rifled a shot in from an acute angle. Asano had brought verve from the moment he came on. His reward, some 20 minutes later, was to score a goal that feels destined to be among the most famous in Japan’s footballing history. This was their greatest ever result in a World Cup and a team who seemed doomed by the draw with two European superpowers can now eye an extended stay in Qatar.

Germany suffer deja vu as heroic Japan pull off shock World Cup win

Germany 1-2 Japan - Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts in Qatar

15:12 , Kieran Jackson

By Alex Pattle

Germany fans had waited four years for their team to make a statement at the Qatar World Cup, but they weren’t necessarily thinking of the one that Hansi Flick’s side delivered in their opening game.

While the national team failed to banish the spectre of Russia 2018, where Germany’s World Cup campaign came crashing down in Kazan, the team at least ensured that they addressed a much more pressing issue here.

Four-and-a-half years after a 2-0 defeat by South Korea saw Germany’s catastrophic world title defence end in the group stage – and in shame – the four-time champions went some way to restoring pride before they had kicked a ball against Japan; which was just as well, given their actual kicking of the ball offered little to celebrate.

Lining up for their pre-game photograph ahead of this 2-1 loss to Japan, every Germany player covered their mouth, making clear their frustration at Fifa’s attempts to silence political dissections of this World Cup. Prior to that gesture, Flick’s players had sported rainbow sleeves on their training tops while warming up for this opening Group E tie, while – up in the stands – Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior and Community, Nancy Faeser, wore the OneLove armband that Fifa has so adamantly tried to wipe from existence.

Seven teams at the World Cup had intended for their captains to sport the rainbow-coloured OneLove band throughout this controversial edition of the world championship, showing their protest of the anti-LGBTQ+ laws and attitudes in host country Qatar, as well as the state’s alleged human-rights abuses; only for Fifa to threaten sporting punishment, i.e. yellow cards, if those players did not instead wear the governing body’s own alternative band.

With that suggestion of punishment coming on the eve of England’s opening match against Iran, the Three Lions retreated sheepishly. Gareth Southgate’s captain Harry Kane expressed frustration but ultimately wore Fifa’s armband.

Germany fall to Japan but stand up to Fifa as pressure mounts in Qatar

Germany 1-2 Japan

15:08 , Kieran Jackson

Here’s Japan’s winner!

Brilliant from Takuma Asano - but what was Nico Schlotterbeck doing?!

FULL-TIME: Germany 1-2 Japan

15:00 , Kieran Jackson

Japan have done it!

The substitutions sprint onto the pitch in celebration - another gigantic World Cup shock! The underdogs have beaten Germany, the 2014 champions, who lose their first World Cup game for the second World Cup running!

Subs Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano are the Japanese heroes with their second-half goals!

Next for Germany? Spain.

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Germany 1-2 Japan

15:00 , Kieran Jackson

90+7 minutes: Neuer was in there, it just misses him!

It falls to Sule at the back post, whose shot is blocked! Corner...

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:59 , Kieran Jackson

90+7 minutes: One final chance for Germany - a free-kick out wide!

Manuel Neuer is up in the box...

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:57 , Kieran Jackson

90+5 minutes: And there’s Germany’s golden chance!

A long ball is knocked down by Sule, straight into Goretzka’s path... but he shoots just wide!

Inches from an equaliser!

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:56 , Kieran Jackson

90+5 mins: Rudiger has a go from about 35 yards, skewing it wide.

Desperate that from the Real Madrid man. Who saw all this coming 20 minutes ago?!

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:55 , Kieran Jackson

90+4 minutes: Germans appeal for a penalty!

Niclas Füllkrug goes down after a collision with a Japanese defender. Nothing in it.

We go on...

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:55 , Kieran Jackson

90+2 minutes: Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has played a masterclass this afternoon in his substitutions - they’ve completely turned the game on its head!

Five to go. Can the Germans find a goal from anywhere?

They’ll get a chance...

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Germany 1-2 Japan

14:52 , Kieran Jackson

Here’s the Japan winner!

Brilliant from Takuma Asano... but what was Nico Schlotterbeck doing in defence for Germany?!

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:52 , Kieran Jackson

89 mins: Last roll of the dice from Hansi Flick.

Moukoko, the 18-year-old, comes on for Gnabry. Goretzka goes wide with a header...

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:51 , Kieran Jackson

88 mins: Japan want a penalty now for a foul by Rudiger in the box!

No penalty - a brief VAR check confirms it!

Must confesss that I didn’t see the incident as the TV coverage was on an earlier replay....

Germany 1-2 Japan

14:49 , Kieran Jackson

87 mins: Japan have never beaten Germany - they’re three minutes plus injury time from doing just that!

Japan so deep now, in a back-six more or less!

Could it be another World Cup stunner here?!

GOAL! Germany 1-2 Japan (Asano 83’)

14:46 , Kieran Jackson

83 mins: Oh can you believe this... Japan are ahead against Germany!

And what a goal this is! It’s the Japan sub Takuma Asano - who has been so lively since coming on - with a terrific individual goal!

It’s a simple long ball down the pitch - Asano takes it brilliantly, and then somehow squeezes it in the roof of the net at the near post, beyond Neuer!

Japan have 10 or so minutes left to see out a famous win here!

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Germany 1-1 Japan

14:44 , Kieran Jackson

82 mins: Another Germany corner from Kimmich this time fails to beat the first man...

They’re in a rush now are the 2014 champions!

Germany 1-1 Japan

14:42 , Kieran Jackson

80 mins: Kimmich whips in a corner - and Rudiger gets up first but he gets too much on the ball, which sails over!

10 to go, which way will this swing now?

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Germany 1-1 Japan

14:41 , Kieran Jackson

78 mins: Japan subs have been terrific - Minamino looking lively straight away!

Hansi Flick looks to change something: Gotze and Fullkrug ON, Havertz and Musiala OFF.

Mario Gotze knows when to make a difference in a World Cup... can he get Germany out of jail herre?!

Germany 1-1 Japan (Doan 75’)

14:38 , Kieran Jackson

75 mins: Japan are level now!

Ritsu Doan, the Japan substitute, is the scorer! Minamino’s cross is palmed away by Manuel Neuer but only to Doan, who has the composure to lift the ball into an empty net!

For all those missed chances, the Germans are back level. Anyone’s game this now!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:36 , Kieran Jackson

73 mins: What a miss - Japan should be level!

The ball comes in at the back post - Junya Ito’s shot is saved brilliantly by Manuel Neuer but the goal is gaping for Hiroki Sakai, who strikes over the bar!

Takumi Minamino is ON for Japan; with Hiroki Sakai OFF.

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:33 , Kieran Jackson

72 mins: Four saves in quick succession from Japan goalkeeper Gonda!

He first denies Hoffman, set up by Gnabry, before denying Gnabry with a long range shot, a header and a follow-up!

Terrrific from the Japan man between the sticks!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:30 , Kieran Jackson

68 mins: Good battle this between Asano and Rudiger!

The Japan forward tries to swivel in the box but the Germany defender is rock solid, the ball deflecting behind for a corner which is eventually collected by Manuel Neuer!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:29 , Kieran Jackson

66 mins: Bit of pressure from Japan, but Germany hold firm for now.

Two changes for the Germans: Hofmann and Goretzka ON; Muller and Gundogan OFF.

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:23 , Kieran Jackson

61 mins: Suddenly... it’s very open!

Japan substitute Asano involved again - he’s played in and instead of taking on Rudiger, he shoots quickly - but it sails well over Neuer’s goal!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:22 , Kieran Jackson

60 mins: Gundogan hits the post!

Havertz plays in Musiala, who in turns feeds Gundogan running towards the box - he shoots cleverly towards the near post, but it hits the outside of the woodwork!

Japan still in this!

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Germany 1-0 Japan

14:19 , Kieran Jackson

57 mins: Double change for Japan - Maeda and Nagatomo OFF, Asano and Mitoma ON.

Asano involved straight away down the right, with his cross headed wide!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:17 , Kieran Jackson

55 mins: Raum’s ball through to Havertz is heavy - and Japan keeper Gonda gets their first.

Havertz is then given offside; replays show he isn’t though.

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:14 , Kieran Jackson

51 mins: Musiala beats about four Japan players in the box... before he blazes over again!

Mesmeric play from the 19-year-old, but he again can’t provide the finishing touch!

It remains 1-0...

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Germany 1-0 Japan

14:13 , Kieran Jackson

50 mins: Japan’s Wataru Endo with a mazy run into the box, laying up Daichi Kamada whose shot is deflected over.

Japan can’t create anything from the subsequent corner!

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:09 , Kieran Jackson

47 mins: Good chance for Gnabry!

Muller powerfully surges towards the box, teeing up his Bayern team-mate on the right - he goals for goal, but is wayward at the near post.

Probably should’ve crossed...

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:08 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: Back underway with the second-half.

No changes from Germany boss Hansi Flick so far...

Germany 1-0 Japan

14:07 , Kieran Jackson

SECOND-HALF: Japan with a half-time substitution.

Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu is on for Takefusa Kubo - looks like he’ll go to left centre-back in the back three.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:53 , Kieran Jackson

HALF-TIME: Germany lead through Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty.

Germany got better and better as the half went on, but Japan aren’t out of this yet! They’ve got pace in abundance in attack but just need to be more decisive in the final third.

Germany could be a few more goals up, truth be told. They’ve had chances.

Well, it’s better than the first game of the day at least!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:52 , Kieran Jackson

45+6: Frantic end to the half!

Maeda is first to the cross in the box but glances wide of the far post!

Best chance for Japan.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:51 , Kieran Jackson

45+5 mins: Goal disallowed.

Havertz clearly offside.

It was lovely play from Germany though.

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Germany 2-0 Japan (Havertz 45+4’)

13:50 , Kieran Jackson

45+4 mins: Germany have their second - if Havertz is onside!

Excellent play from the Germans. Havertz taps in at the back post from Gnabry’s saved shot.

Ah, replays show he is offside... VAR is checking.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:46 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: The first bit is tremendous from Jamal Musiala - the second not so good!

The Bayern man loses his marker on the edge of the box... but his shot is high above the crossbar!

Should’ve hit the target. Four minutes of added time at the end of the first-half.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:45 , Kieran Jackson

44 mins: Germany just seeing out the half now, with Japan looking slightly out on their feet after a heavy half of pressing.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:42 , Kieran Jackson

41 mins: Japan just in need of half-time here you feel.

They haven’t been awful, but Germany’s pressure really building now - Kimmich is the latest to have a shot from distance, but it sails high into the stands!

Mexican wave now starting around the stadium. Not for me, Clive.

Germany 1-0 Japan

13:37 , Kieran Jackson

36 mins: Not a bad immediate response from Japan!

A few quick breaks down the right presents some opportunities... but the final ball lets them down!

Germany 1-0 Japan (Gunodgan pen, 33)

13:34 , Kieran Jackson

33 mins: Germany lead!

Ilkay Gundogan lifts the ball and goes down the middle, while Gonda dives to his left.

Very composed from the midfielder! Hansi Flick’s side are ahead... on the last 10 minutes, it had been coming!

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:32 , Kieran Jackson

31 mins: PENALTY TO GERMANY!

Japan rush out and Raum is in the box from left-back. He cuts back and looks to be taken out by goalkeeper Gonda! Not much contact... but enough!

The referee, from El Salvador, points to the spot after a short delay!

Needless from the keeper. Didn’t need to commit... Ilkay Gundogan is over it!

VAR check confirmed, penalty given.

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Germany 0-0 Japan

13:30 , Kieran Jackson

29 mins: An even better opening for Gundogan!

This time Germany streak down the left - Raum’s cut back is parried by Gonda straight to Gundogan, but his goalbound shot is blocked... surely he had to lift the ball there?!

Germans well on top now!

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:29 , Kieran Jackson

28 mins: Much better from Germany!

They move the ball well down the right and Gnabry sets up Gundogan outside the box, but the Man City midfielder’s strike is comfortable for Gonda - straight down his throat.

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:26 , Kieran Jackson

25 mins: Brief VAR check for a handball in the Japan box, but it doesn’t strike the defender’s arm.

Decent start from Japan here.

Germany 0-0 Japan: Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

13:26 , Kieran Jackson

Germany players covered their mouths in a World Cup 2022 statement before their match with Japan.

Die Mannschaft lined up for the photo opportunity on the pitch before the Group E match at the Khalifa International Stadium, collectively covering their mouths.

Some have interpreted it as a response in the row over being censored by Fifa over support for the ‘One Love’ initiative.

A statement from the German FA read: “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

Germany’s soccer team players cover their mouth during the World Cup group E soccer match against Japan

German Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser could be seen in the stands wearing the One Love armband before kick-off.

It is the latest development in the row with the world governing body over the symbol in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Germany say Fifa ‘denied us a voice’ after covering mouths in statement at World Cup

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:23 , Kieran Jackson

22 mins: Raum sloppily loses the ball in his own half - Japan rapid to counter and the underdogs have a corner, but are unable to fashion a chance from it.

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:22 , Kieran Jackson

21 mins: First real bit of incisive play from the Germans!

The ball falls to Josh Kimmich who works Japan keeper Shūichi Gonda with a decent strike, while the follow-up goes astray and is given offside anyway.

Tell you what, when the Japan fans have a breather, it’s very, very quiet at the Khalifa International Stadium - you can hear the players talk to each other!

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:18 , Kieran Jackson

16 mins: Close from Rudiger!

A chipped corner to the back post is met by the head of Antonio Rudiger, whose header sails just wide of the near post!

Not a bad chance that - the Real Madrid defender’s reaction says that he should’ve done better!

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:16 , Kieran Jackson

14 mins: Japan doing a good job of nullifying any German threat at the moment - they press rapidly when Germany enter their half.

Right back Hiroki Sakai down injured after a tackle on David Raum - clash of legs. Fine to continue.

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:09 , Kieran Jackson

8 mins: It’s a terrific Japan counter-attack which ends with a goal... but it’s offside!

Daizen Maeda converts at the back post but he’s gone too early, clearly a yard or so offside!

He didn’t need to be either! Let-off for the Germans, with Gundogan losing the ball cheaply in midfield this time.

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Germany 0-0 Japan

13:05 , Kieran Jackson

5 mins: Musiala this time gives the ball away in midfield and Ilkay Gundogan has to cover for him - Japan with the first corner of the match.

Headed comfortably away by Gnabry.

Germany 0-0 Japan

13:03 , Kieran Jackson

2 mins: Bright start from Germany, with Musiala involved from the off - he wins the ball in the centre of the park but can’t quite find the right pass into the box.

Japan sitting off, relatively deep in their shape early on...

Germany vs Japan: Kick-off!

13:00 , Kieran Jackson

We’re underway at the Khalifa International Stadium for this opening Group E clash!

Germany in their traditional white shirts and black shorts, with Japan in dark blue shirts and white shorts.

Germany vs Japan: A reminder of the teams!

12:58 , Kieran Jackson

Germany: Neuer; Schlotterbeck, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Gundogan; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Havertz

Japan: Gonda; Sakai, Itakura, Yoshida, Ito, Nagatomo; Endo, Tanaka; Kubo, Kamada, Maeda

A pretty pointed Germany team photo before the game too... silenced?

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Germany vs Japan: The teams are out!

12:57 , Kieran Jackson

It’s a terrific sight at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha as the two starting XIs make their way onto the pitch!

Now time for the national anthems!

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Germany vs Japan: We’re almost set at the Khalifa International Stadium!

12:52 , Kieran Jackson

Germany are looking to bounce back after a disappointing two tournaments, following a group-stage exit four years ago in Russia and a last-16 exit at Euro 2020.

For Japan, who were so close to knocking out Belgium in 2018, they will be targeting an upset in Doha!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
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Germany vs Japan: Germany have ‘opportunity’ to wear OneLove armband at World Cup, claims vice chancellor

12:47 , Kieran Jackson

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has said he would wear the multi-coloured ‘OneLove’ armband at the soccer World Cup 2022 and see what happened, but he took care to add it was not for him to decide what national team captain Manuel Neuer does.

Habeck’s comments late on Tuesday came amid a row over the symbol in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Asked by broadcaster ZDF whether players should wear the armband, Habeck replied: “I am not the media advisor of the DFB (German football association) and I am not Manuel Neuer but the opportunity is there.”

“I’m a politician trying to do my job properly, but what would happen if it happened now? I would like to know and I would take my chances,” he added.

The comments come after soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, cracked down on players wearing the armbands in support of diversity at this year’s World Cup.

In response, Rewe, one of Germany’s biggest supermarket chains, scrapped its advertising campaign with the DFB.

Germany urged to take ‘opportunity’ to wear OneLove armband at World Cup

Germany vs Japan: Germany’s ‘Bambi’ Jamal Musiala no longer a deer in the headlights

12:40 , Kieran Jackson

Germany fans are hoping Bayern Munich wunderkind Jamal Musiala will slash their pre-tournament title odds once the World Cup starts, with the teenager having quickly become a key player in Hansi Flick’s team.

Few would have thought just two years ago that Musiala, with his light frame, medium height and innocent demeanour, would become one of the leaders of the Germany team for the 2022 World Cup and Bayern’s second-top scorer so far this season.

A Germany and England youth international, Musiala opted to play for his birth country at senior level with then Germany coach Joachim Low giving him his first start last year.

In some 18 months he has become indispensable with his exceptional reading of the game in midfield, his speed, change of pace and turns and his goalscoring ability proving crucial.

“Jamal has this completeness that is just so good for us as a team,” Flick has said about the player he knows since his Bayern coaching days.

Nicknamed Bambi by his Bayern team mates for his youthful appearance, Musiala is anything but a deer caught in headlights when he is on the pitch, having already bagged seven goals and four assists in the Bundesliga so far.

While he enjoys his attacking midfield role he is equally at ease as a winger or even as a defensive midfielder.

Germany’s ‘Bambi’ Jamal Musiala no longer a deer in the headlights

Germany vs Japan: When East Germany met West and caused one of the greatest World Cup shocks

12:33 , Kieran Jackson

Arriving at Hamburg airport in their matching light grey jackets, green shirt and yellow ties, the East Germany squad and management team were all smiles. The departure to their camp in Quickborn was delayed when a replacement bus needed to be found as the one emblazoned with “DDR” (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) and flag designated to pick them up went ‘missing’. Given West Germany didn’t even recognise the DDR as a proper country — the national tabloid Bild even referred to the East in inverted commas — this was hardly a surprise. No doubt the slight was documented in forensic detail by one of tourists.

At their base for the first group stage, agents of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany’s Ministry for State Security, better known as the Stasi, among the entourage relaxed their surveillance a touch, presumably overawed by the chance to sample some of the pleasures of the West. With this new-found freedom, a trip to the Reeperbahn was organised by the owners of the Sporthotel in Quickborn. A night on the tiles beckoned.

The West German hosts even offered everyone from the East German delegation a free TV. The officials declined — fraternisation with the West was a strict no-no, more so the receiving of illicit Western goods — but some of the players noticed that all the televisions were gone by the time they left.

A 2-0 win over Australia in the East Germany’s first ever game at a World Cup finals was followed four days later by a 1-1 draw with Chile in their second. A somewhat unexpected scoreless draw between their first two opponents, mere hours before kick off, had meant that the pressure was off by their third. Both West Germany and East Germany had already qualified for the knockouts, just leaving the thorny issue of the most politically charged football match of all time to traverse.

Coaches of the DDR-Oberliga teams were invited to attend the all-German clash, but Hans Meyer, coach of Carl-Zeiss Jena, was notable by his absence. “On the day, I had stomach pains and had to stay home,” Meyer later recalled. Meyer is well-known in Germany for his sarcasm and irony — he certainly wasn’t ill on the day of the game.

He had turned down the offer on the grounds that he had to catch a train from Gera at 4am, then “travel with the fans to Hamburg, wave my hammer and sickle flag, get stared at by the other fans like some exotic creature, get straight back on the train after the game, and then get back home in the middle of the night”. He saw straight through the absurdity of the situation and presumably watched the game at home, ohne flag.

When East Germany met West and caused one of the greatest World Cup shocks

Pep Guardiola signs two-year Man City contract extension

12:30 , Alex Pattle

Pep Guardiola has signed a two-year contract extension with Manchester City, tying him down to the Etihad club until 2025.

The 51-year-old previously had eight months remaining on a deal set to expire at the end of the current season.

Guardiola has held talks with City executives in Abu Dhabi during the Premier League‘s mid-season break for the World Cup.

The Premier League champions have taken the interruption to the regular schedule as an opportunity to secure Guardiola’s future.

Full story here:

Pep Guardiola signs two-year Manchester City contract extension

Morocco 0-0 Croatia: In-demand Josko Gvardiol sets solid platform for Croatia to find attacking improvements

12:29 , Kieran Jackson

Not a fixture for those fond of excitement and goalmouth incidents, but Croatia’s goalless draw with Morocco owed as much to those steady at centre-back as it did to a lack of incisive passing in the final third.

Front and centre amongst them even ahead of kick-off was Josko Gvardiol; the youngest on show, which is always cause for extra attention, but also one of the players most-linked with a big money transfer.

Ahead of the World Cup it was Chelsea in particular he was said to be interesting, but Europe’s other top sides will all be keeping a close eye on the Leipzig defender’s availability. Against Morocco he showed why that is, albeit not exactly in the face of relentless pressure in his own defensive third.

On the other hand, that’s part of the attraction: the best teams dominate and need the back line to display concentration and reliability at the irregular moments they are called upon.

Eminently visible due to his beard-and-mask combo, Gvardiol’s defensive acumen was certainly visible at times, against both set-piece situations and Morocco’s counter-attacking threat.

Twice he made excellent covering runs behind his full-back on the left channel, showing both his buccaneering pace as well as the learned inclination he now has after serving at full-back himself with regularity.

In-demand Gvardiol sets platform for Croatia to find attacking improvements

German Vice Chancellor encourages team to wear OneLove armband

12:24 , Alex Pattle

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck has said he would wear the multi-coloured ‘OneLove’ armband at the soccer World Cup 2022 and see what happened, but he took care to add it was not for him to decide what national team captain Manuel Neuer does.

Habeck’s comments late on Tuesday came amid a row over the symbol in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Asked by broadcaster ZDF whether players should wear the armband, Habeck replied: “I am not the media advisor of the DFB [German football association], and I am not Manuel Neuer, but the opportunity is there.”

“I’m a politician trying to do my job properly, but what would happen if it happened now? I would like to know and I would take my chances,” he added.

Full story:

Germany urged to take ‘opportunity’ to wear OneLove armband at World Cup

Germany vs Japan: Match odds!

12:22 , Kieran Jackson

Germany win 4/9

Draw 18/5

Japan win 11/2

Odds provided by OLBG

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia - MATCH REPORT

12:14 , Kieran Jackson

By Ben Burrows at the Al Bayt Stadium

If Croatia are to match the heroics of four years ago in Russia in Qatar, they will have to make their own bit of history after opening their tournament here with a frustrating stalemate with Morocco.

The Croatians have now failed to win their opening match of a World Cup on four of their six appearances. Following the other three they failed to make it out of their group.

Losing finalists last go around, Luka Modric and Co have high hopes again and with many of the heroes of that famous run suiting up one more time for a last dance, there is still every chance they could do it. But this result, a 0-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium to begin Group F, and the performance to go with it was far from what they were looking for. Indeed it will be group rivals Belgium and Canada who are happiest with the outcome here.

Played out in blazing afternoon sun it was hardly surprising for the tempo of this one to be set early by Croatia, their ever-dependable midfield trio taking charge and controlling things from the middle. At the heart of it was Modric, playing what will surely be his final major tournament of a glittering career, still the arch metronome he has always been, seemingly dictating the pace of everything around him without any remote concern, his otherworldly powers somehow also extending to ensure he avoided any further action for a number of mistimed challenges in defence.

Ivan Perisic, a star four years ago, arrowed over with a speculative long-range effort as they pushed to add some potency to their early possession.

Morocco’s best moments of a largely uneventful first-half came, predictably, through the returning Hakim Ziyech, the Chelsea wide man now back in from the cold under new coach Walid Regragui. A blocked snap shot and dangerous whipped cross in the early exchanges hinted at where their main threat would come. A free-kick bang in range 25 yards out was wastefully hit straight at the wall.

Croatia miss chance to ignite World Cup bid after Morocco stalemate

France begin World Cup defence with 4-1 win over Australia

12:08 , Alex Pattle

“A striker who was supposed to be dispensable now has only one equal. That’s the story of Olivier Giroud, who just keeps going, and keeps scoring. The 36-year-old finally got the goal he didn’t in 2018 to claim his first in the World Cup in eight years before quickly following it with another.

“That made it 4-1 to France against Australia and was also the 51st goal of his international career, to match Thierry Henry’s record. Giroud may well surpass that in this tournament, a World Cup he wasn’t even expected to start in. This was precisely why Karim Benzema’s injury wasn’t seen as anything close to a disaster by the French, despite his immense quality.

“They’d already won a World Cup with Giroud and, far from the Real Madrid player taking them to another level, the belief is that the team just works better with the Milan striker. He links it all together. Kylian Mbappe certainly enjoys playing with him.

“As regards levels, the reality of this game was that a plucky but hugely limited Australia just couldn’t get close to France.”Miguel Delaney’s match report from Qatar, as France began their World Cup defence with a victory over Australia:

France just reminded the World Cup why they are defending champions

Germany vs Japan: TEAM NEWS

12:03 , Alex Pattle

We move swiftly on to Germany vs Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium!

Team news:

Germany: Neuer; Schlotterbeck, Sule, Rudiger, Raum; Kimmich, Gundogan; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Havertz

Japan: Gonda; Sakai, Itakura, Yoshida, Ito, Nagatomo; Endo, Tanaka; Kubo, Kamada, Maeda

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:57 , Kieran Jackson

FULL-TIME: Goalless at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Two teams who very simply cancelled each other out. No clear-cut chances to speak of either, both sides very solid in their shape.

Morocco will be the happier, while Croatia were a tad lacklustre. No repeat of 2018 when they won all three World Cup games.

Onto Belgium vs Canada in Group F later on at 7pm...

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

France defender Lucas Hernandez ruled out of rest of World Cup

11:55 , Alex Pattle

Lucas Hernandez has become the latest France player to be ruled out of the World Cup.

The Bayern Munich defender was forced off in the first half of Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Australia and subsequent scans have shown a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee.

It means Hernandez will be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and play no further part in the holders’ attempts to defend their World Cup title in Qatar.

The left back was replaced by brother Theo against Australia.

More details here:

France defender Lucas Hernandez out of World Cup with knee injury

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:53 , Kieran Jackson

90+3 mins: Morocco dominant in the last few minutes but Croatia holding firm - Ziyech loses the ball before lunging in on Modric.

Heading for a point apiece here...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:50 , Kieran Jackson

90 mins: Six minutes of time added on - could we have some late drama?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:49 , Kieran Jackson

89 mins: A late change for Croatia: Perisic OFF, Orsic ON.

Not quite been the Tottenham man’s day in Al Khor.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:47 , Kieran Jackson

88 mins: There’s only been two shots on goal from each team, according to the FIFA statistics.

That, ladies and gents, rather sums up the match... how much added time will we get, however?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:45 , Kieran Jackson

85 mins: Morocco bit more on the front-foot in this last few minutes, do they sense a winner is available here if they push on a bit more?

Ziyech still doing his best to be the playmaker in midfield. Into the last five (15) we go...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:41 , Kieran Jackson

81 mins: Modric whips it in from the right but it can only be harmlessly headed wide by Josko Gvardiol, who is penalised for climbing on a defender anyway.

Two subs for Morocco: En-Nesyri and Ounahi OFF, Hamdallah and Sabiri ON.

Harry Kane to undergo ankle scan in injury scare before England vs USA

11:41 , Alex Pattle

England captain Harry Kane will undergo a scan on his right ankle to determine whether he sustained an injury during the World Cup opener against Iran.

Kane stayed down after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge during Monday’s Group B match, with the striker’s foot appearing to twist awkwardly.

The Tottenham forward has a history of ankle injuries and he was subsequently brought off in the 75th minute of the 6-2 win.

England face the USA in their second group stage match on Friday night, with Kane now considered to be a doubt for Gareth Southgate’s side.

Full story:

Harry Kane to undergo ankle scan in England World Cup injury scare

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:39 , Kieran Jackson

79 mins: A sub for Croatia.

Kovacic OFF, Majer ON.

The 2018 finalists now have a free-kick in the Moroccan half on the right-hand side...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:38 , Kieran Jackson

78 mins: We have our first yellow card - Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat in the book for a late clip on Luka Modric, who turned him beautifully.

No-brainer.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:36 , Kieran Jackson

75 mins: Hakimi does well to win a free-kick on the right, with Perisic baited in...

Not been the best game this, it has to be said. 15 minutes to go in Al Khor - will we have a late twist?

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:32 , Kieran Jackson

73 mins: Really good defending from Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd to deny Dejan Lovren a header at the back post, another corner.

Pressure growing from Croatia, but Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou claims easily.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:31 , Kieran Jackson

72 mins: Modric plays in a terrific free-kick and it’s acrobatically cleared by Morocco in the box!

Croatia corner...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:30 , Kieran Jackson

71 mins: Croatia enjoying a sustained period of possession here, but not really doing an awful lot with it - Morocco very solid in their shape.

Another sub: Kramaric OFF, Livaja ON.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:25 , Kieran Jackson

65 mins: What a strike from Hakimi!

The ball is laid off to the PSG defender who smashes a 30-yard shot with immense power... but it’s straight at Croatia keeper Dominik Livaković, who palms it away!

Got the crowd off their seats though. Meanwhile, Morocco make another sub: Boufal comes off for Ezzalzouli.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:23 , Kieran Jackson

64 mins: Hakimi makes a storming run down the right but his cross into the box misses everyone!

Morocco now with a free-kick 10 yards outside the box, centre-left of the pitch. Decent opening again...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:20 , Kieran Jackson

61 mins: Yahia Attiyat Allah replaces Mazraouri at left back - like-for-like swap.

Second-half yet to really get going...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:19 , Kieran Jackson

59 mins: Mazraouri doesn’t look able to continue here, he’s limping around and then finally goes over on the pitch.

The Moroccan left back was looking to get on the end of Lovren’s block a few minutes ago, heading tamely goalwards. Maybe a problem with his side...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:15 , Kieran Jackson

56 mins: Noussair Mazraoui was the man down. He looks set to come back on.

That Lovren handball may also have been outside the box, in which case VAR couldn’t get involved!

Back underway.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:13 , Kieran Jackson

53 mins: Croatia’s inswinging corner from Modric is glanced on from Perisic, but Yassine Bounou gets a hand to it - with the ball then further cleared.

A Morocco player now down injured...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:12 , Kieran Jackson

51 mins: As soon as I say that...

Boufal has a shot from distance which looks to have struck Dejan Lovren on the arm! No penalty awarded from the Argentine referee; replays show Lovren was turning away so it would’ve been harsh.

Meanwhile, Hakimi does well to head clear at the back post for Morocco...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:10 , Kieran Jackson

50 mins: Croatia really struggling to get out of their half here, with Morocco closing down brilliantly.

Unfortunately, the African side yet to fashion a clear opening...

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:05 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: Bizarre start to the half with Morocco’s Sofyan Amrabat late to emerge to the pitch.

Waiting for around a minute for the midfielder to emerge! And now we are back underway!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

11:04 , Kieran Jackson

SECOND-HALF: Croatia making a substitution at half-time; Vlasic does come off, replaced by Mario Pašalić.

Vlasic did receive treatment at the end of that first-half.

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:49 , Kieran Jackson

HALF-TIME: Even stevens at the break in Al Khor, in a game which has struggled to really take off!

Morocco looked lively early on but mellowed as the half went on, with Croatia having their two best chances right at the end thorugh Vlasic and Modric!

Goalless at the interval!

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:48 , Kieran Jackson

45+2 mins: So close from Luka Modric!

The ball breaks to the Croatia captain on the edge of the but his powerful shot with his left foot is just over the bar!

Should’ve hit the target.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Morocco 0-0 Croatia

10:47 , Kieran Jackson

45 mins: Big save from Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou!

Croatia play the ball nicely down the left and Vlasic is first to the cross at the near post... but the keeper makes himself big and saves well!

Two minutes of added time, unusually normal...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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