Germany boss Hansi Flick has challenged his players to bounce back from their shock 2-1 defeat to Japan when they take on Spain in their second match of the 2022 World Cup on Sunday night.
DFB-Team led 1-0 against Japan on Wednesday, but Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano both scored in the latter stages to secure all three points for Hajime Moriyasu‘s side.
Germany could now be eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage if they lose again on Sunday, and Flick has refused to play down the importance of the contest.
“I think there were some situations where we made a lot of mistakes, where we got [things] wrong,” Flick told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“Clearly, I tried to articulate it, and tried to explain that to the team, because it’s important for them to understand and then to implement, and to make them sure that they can do what they’ve been told.
“We talked about the match. We’re really convinced about our philosophy, how we want to play football. And, of course, we’re going to try to do better tomorrow.”
Germany have disappointed in their last two major tournaments, failing to make it through the group stage of the 2018 World Cup before only reaching the round of 16 at Euro 2020.
Flick has said that his side will be looking to “avoid a repeat” of what happened in Russia four years ago.
“The last two tournaments were not [good]. We want to avoid a repeat of this. The focus is on concentration. This is the first final for us at the World Cup and that’s what it’s about – to avoid a repeat of that,” he added.
Meanwhile, when asked whether Germany were still an international heavyweight, the manager said: “This will be answered on Sunday. Maybe we have another answer to that question, the right answer.”
If the four-time world champions lose to Spain, and Costa Rica fail to overcome Japan in the earlier game, then they would be eliminated from the group stage ahead of their final match.
Spain will enter the contest off the back of a 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their section opener.
La Roja have only lost once to Germany since August 2000, and they recorded a 6-0 victory over their European rivals when the two nations last locked horns in the UEFA Nations League in November 2020.
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