Liverpool’s Wataru Endo has helped Japan heap further misery on Hansi Flick’s Germany, with the new signing putting in a “dominant” display to help secure a comfortable 4-1 victory.
Endo has played for 88 minutes across three Liverpool fixtures since arriving, but he completed the full 90 for his country on Saturday evening.
The 30-year-old started in a double pivot alongside Hidemasa Morita and was pivotal as his side piled on four goals in a humbling friendly defeat for Germany in Wolfsburg.
Japan scored the first goal of the game in the 11th minute and Leroy Sane would equalise soon after for the hosts, only to see Endo’s side score three more – the final two coming in the 90th and 90+2nd minute.
It is Germany’s fourth defeat in their last five outings and their heaviest since 2020, and an influential Endo helped pile the pressure on Flick.
Liverpool’s new No. 3 won seven duels, won all four of his tackles, made six recoveries and two interceptions in a performance Japan Times described as “dominant.”
They admitted that Endo was fortunate not to concede a penalty after toppling Nico Schlotterbeck, but his overall contribution off the ball and on it – 88 percent passing accuracy – ensured he was key to the result.
Endo’s performance goes to show he needs time to settle at Liverpool before we see him at his best, and playing two of his three games with 10 men will not have helped his settling in period.
The Japan captain will lead his team against Turkey on Tuesday afternoon before returning to Anfield.
Elsewhere, Bobby Clark and Calum Scanlon started and played 70 minutes as England under-19s clinched a 4-2 win over Switzerland.
Clark was a threat throughout and helped set up England’s second goal of the afternoon after winning the ball off the goalkeeper and setting up Southampton‘s Dominic Ballard.
Seventeen-year-old Trent Kone-Doherty, meanwhile, was described as a “bright spark” for Ireland U19s in their 1-1 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina, with his “close control and dribbling” a highlight of his outing.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo, Kostas Tsimikas and Dominik Szoboszlai are all anticipated to be in action on Sunday.