Germany Player Ratings vs Japan: Surprise Loss in Group Opener

Germany have now lost their opening match at the World Cup for a second successive tournament after they were defeated 2-1 by Japan in the opening match of Group E at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. They led a protest at the start of the game for human rights, with the team photoed covering their mouths after FIFA stopped them and other nations wearing the ‘OneLove’ armband. The Germans had plenty of chances to win the match in the second half but didn’t take them, allowing Japan to get back into the match. So, here’s our Germany player ratings following their shock loss to Japan.

Germany (4-2-3-1):

Manuel Neuer – 6

Appearing at his fourth World Cup, he had nothing to do in first half. However, he did make a wonderful save to deny Junya Ito with less than 20 minutes to go. Also made a good save in the build-up to Ritsu Doan’s goal but could do nothing about it in the end. Could have done better to deny Takuma Asano’s goal, nonetheless.

Niklas Sule – 4

Not a natural right-back and also not the quickest, standing at 6′ 5″. Got caught out down his side of the defence in the second half and struggled against the Japanese offense after the break, being at fault for Asano’s winner.

Antonio Rudiger – 6.5

Looked strong and composed to start and was good in defense for the most part but couldn’t stop the Japanese comeback.

Nico Schlotterbeck – 5

Not as composed as partner Rudiger and was also a little rash at times. Struggled in the second half once Japan started to show a bit of attacking intent.

David Raum – 6.5

Essentially played as a winger in the first half, pushing quite high to support the attack. Great run into the box, being left completely unmarked after a late run, which led to the German penalty. However, was forced back in the second half.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7

Often dropped deep alongside Joshua Kimmich to help recycle possession. Looked to make runs from deep to support the attack at times and was the biggest threat for Germany in the first half, scoring their tournament opener from the spot. Struck the post for a good chance to put his side two ahead around the hour mark. Solid display before being taken off for Leon Goretzka.

Joshua Kimmich – 6

Played a couple of nice passes at times but was sloppy in dangerous areas. Struggled to influence the game.

Thomas Müller – 5

Playing at his fourth World Cup, the 33-year-old struggled to make an impact in the Group E opener. He set up a decent chance for Gnabry to start the second half but that was about it before being subbed off for Jonas Hofmann.

Jamal Musiala – 6.5

Tried to make things happen in the first half but couldn’t quite get it to go. Great chance after some fantastic dribbling and close control inside the Japanese box in the opening phases of the second half but couldn’t apply the finish. Tricky in and around the box, playing some nice one-twos at times. Stronger impact in the second forty five but lacked a bit of quality in the end.

Serge Gnabry – 5.5

Had a decent chance to begin the second half but missed the target. Was non-existent in first half. Looked a bit more influential after the break but not much of an improvement.

Kai Havertz – 4

Deployed in a false nine role and led the press. Could have scored Germany’s second but moved too quickly and was ruled out for offside. Underwhelming performance.


Leon Goretzka – 6

Had a good chance to equalise in injury time but couldn’t hit the target.

Jonas Hofmann – N/A

Niclas Fullkrug – N/A

Mario Götze – N/A

Youssoufa Moukoko – N/A