Tops and Flops of World Cup Day 4: Deadly Japan, Terrifying Spain

After witnessing Tuesday’s shocking result courtesy of Saudi Arabia, few had expected lightning to strike twice, let alone two days in a row. Yet, Japan delivered another MAJOR upset in their meeting against Germany, replicating the same come-from-behind scenario witnessed in Argentina-KSA. In the same group, Spain torched Costa Rica with seven unanswered goals.

As for Group F, Michy Batshuayi’s winner against Canada was the solitary goal scored in both encounters, with Morocco and Croatia ending in a stalemate. So let’s check out the Tops and Flops from Day 4 of the 2022 World Cup.

Top (Player): Dani Olmo

On the back of their terrifying display against Costa Rica, several Spain players could have gotten the nod. This includes Gavi, Ferran Torres and perhaps even Marco Asensio.

Nonetheless, with a splendid goal and a fabulous assist under the belt, Dani Olmo receives the great honor.

Take a bow, son!

Top (Super-Sub): Takuma Asano

Olmo and his teammates may have flexed their muscles against Costa Rica, but Japan’s Takuma Asano is the undisputed hero of the day.

The winger entered the pitch at the 57th minute, and 26 minutes later, he scored his country’s most memorable goal in decades.

Nothing will ever be the same again for the Samurai who Slayed Germany.

Flop (Manager): Roberto Martinez

Whether we’re still witnessing the Belgian Golden Generation or not we can’t be certain, but the fact remains that the Red Devils continue to underperform with Roberto Martinez at the helm.

The Spanish manager had to rely on Thibaut Courtois’ heroics and every bit of luck to survive Canada’s onslaught. His side snatched a clumsy winner that came from an end-to-end in order to run away with an unconvincing yet important win.

Top (Manager): Hajime Moriyasu

How did Germany wasted so many chances in front of goal, only the players can tell. But to Hajime Moriyasu’s credit, his team kept its composure, remained fully focused and harassed the European giants with swift and deadly counter attacks.

For the Samurai Blue, this was their one and only path to victory, and the plan was executed to perfection.

Flop (Team): Costa Rica

Now surely Costa Rica earned their ticket to Qatar fair and square just like any other participant, but truth to be told, it looked like a team that has no business in being at the World Cup.

Perhaps the Central Americans will pounce back in the next one, but overcoming such humbling defeat is no easy task, especially on the morale level.

Top (Team): Spain

The starters scored, the substitutes scored, King Felipe VI scored… Ok maybe the last one is an exaggeration, but it genuinely felt as if every Spaniard in the building managed to find the back of Keylor Navas’ net.

The legend of the Tiki-Taka lives on!

Flop (Jersey): Gavi

Since rising to the scene at Barcelona, Gavi has often been likened to his club manager Xavi Hernandez, and anything that rhymes well makes perfect sense in our book.

But since he’s Xavi’s heir, why not give him Xavi’s number six, or any other squad number number suitable for a midfielder?

Instead, the poor boy has to walk around while awkwardly donning the number 9. And no, just because he scored a beauty of a goal doesn’t make the sight any less bizarre.

Ok we get it, Spain doesn’t want nor need a classic center forward. But since you have Alvaro Morata on the bench, why not let him have the number 9 during his second-half cameo?

And this was our random ramble of the day.

Top (Goalkeeper): Yassine Bounou

So Courtois produced a vital spot kick save, and even Manuel Neuer pulled off an incredible effort to delay Japan’s comeback.

Nevertheless, Yassine Bounou is our best World Cup goalkeeper from Day 4 after denying Croatia with a string of saves and securing a valuable first point for Morocco.

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