Germany suffered a bitter 2-1 defeat to Japan in their World Cup opener. After the game, the players lamented not scoring a second goal earlier. The post-match interviews are below:
Hansi Flick: We are seriously disappointed - not only myself, but the training staff and the players. In the first half we had 78 percent possession, and we deservedly went into the lead. In the stage of the game in which we were dominant, we had lots of chances to score, but we didn’t take them. Japan beat us by being more efficient. The individual errors that we made in the second half can’t be happening. We now need to build the players up. We won’t have a nice journey home. We will analyse the game, but we did some things well. We have the quality to beat Spain. Our focus is now only on that game.
Ilkay Gündogan: We made it too easy for Japan. The ways we conceded was schoolboy stuff, especially the second goal. I don’t think the world champions would concede a goal as simple as that. We largely dominated the game. We had some great chances but didn’t get that second goal. We didn’t play badly but just weren’t convincing enough in the way we held onto the ball, the way we moved and the way we moved off it. You got the feeling that not everyone wanted the ball.
Manuel Neuer: Not taking are chances and inadequate defending were the reasons behind that. As Japan pressed higher, we lacked composure and good positional play. With better passing and more confidence, it would have been a different outcome. We let them get better. If you don’t pass with venom then you’ll face the backlash to that at some point. We brought this on ourselves.
Thomas Müller: My instinct feeling is that we played well for long stretches of the game. But a good game is marked by taking your chances and converting them into goals. It’s crazy to be sat here having just lost. We deserved to lose for the manner in which we conceded the goals. In the end, we have ourselves to blame for our lack of efficiency. A defeat to start the tournament was the exact opposite of what we needed. That is easy to analyse in sporting terms, but more difficult to grasp emotionally speaking. Now we’ve got a massive disadvantage. It’s practically a certainty to need a win against Spain. We actually wanted to take a bit of that pressure off with a win today. Now, we’ve got both!