Early World Cup upsets, setting the stage for an exciting finish
The second major match upset of the 2022 World Cup saw Japan defeat the powerhouse German team 2-1 on Tuesday. A day before, the world saw the Saudi Arabia Green Falcons stun the world by defeating Argentina by the same score of 2-1 in front of nearly 90,000 fans.
Football in Japan only became more mainstream in the early 1990s with the formation of the J1 League, known as the Meiji Yasuda J1 League. The Japanese premier league is one of the most successful leagues in Asian club football. It has grown to 18 professional clubs throughout the decades, and several of its players have played in the English Premier League and other top-tier competitions.
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 AFC 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 victory against Germany will be the biggest.
Image source courtesy of FIFA Twitter feed