The German language is known for some incredible inventive phrases, but it turns out that ‘swings and roundabouts’ hasn’t yet been picked up.
And that was certainly the case when historical parallels were drawn to the goal that saw them crash out of the World Cup at the group stage.
One of the defining images of Qatar 2022, and undoubtedly the moment of Germany’s tournament, came in a game they weren’t even involved in.
Ao Tanaka’s tap-in completed an astonishing three-minute turnaround for Japan against Spain, sealing an unexpected 2-1 victory which rendered the result in the other Group E game meaningless.
Germany’s 4-2 victory over Costa Rica was in vain as Japan sailed through to the knockouts, but there was instant drama before their match-winner had even hit the back of the net.
Replays and even real-time images showed Kaoru Mitoma’s assist was as close as it could be to going out of play for a goal-kick, and unfavourable angles of still images of the moment only made things worse.
That led to German media giants BILD running the simple headline ‘Like Wembley’ following up with the sentence, ‘56 years, four months and one day have passed…’
That harked back to Geoff Hurst’s extra-time go-ahead goal in England’s 4-2 World Cup final win over West Germany back in 1966.
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In slightly similar scenes, Hurst’s goal may never have crossed the line before he completed his hat-trick, in what BILD called ‘One of the biggest scandals in football history’.
In terms of the magnitude of the game it certainly was, but when it comes to sheer controversy, one Germany goal tops the lot.
That came in 2010 in South Africa when England had just shifted the momentum after going 2-0 down to Germany in the last 16 of the tournament.
Matthew Upson had halved the deficit before a trademark Frank Lampard goal should have levelled the score going into the break.
Unfortunately for Fabio Capello’s England, this was pre-goal-line technology, but that shouldn’t have mattered.
Lampard’s effort was so far over the line that there was no debate at all, but somehow the referee and linesman failed to notice.
Luck was certainly on the Germans’ side though as the ran away with the win, in a careful reminder that what goes around comes around.
Elsewhere in Germany, though, they were, instead, calling out their team and their FA.
Die Welt said: “Germany is no longer a tournament team. It will take fundamental change to get out of this rut.”
And FAZ added: “Things have been going downhill since winning the 2014 World Cup. The return to the top of the world is just an illusion for the DFB team.”
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- German media compare Japan goal to Geoff Hurst’s controversial 1966 World Cup strike for England
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