Qatar World Cup: 5 things we learned on Day 12 – Japan go on and Gemany falter


Japan advanced to the last 16. And Germany didn't, for the second tournament in a row.

The most hated man in Ghana?

Luis Suarez probably had no plans to visit Ghana after becoming public enemy number one in 2010 for handling on the line in the dying seconds of extra-time during Uruguay’s quarter-final against Ghana at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Suarez was in his early 20s then. Now in the twilight of his enormously successful and occasionally controversial career, he is ready to face Ghana again in the final game in Group H at the Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar. The stakes are simple for both sides: win and progress to the last 16.

When asked if he was sorry about what he had done to the Ghanaians, he was unrepentant: “I took the red card but the Ghana player missed a penalty, not me." Ghana messed up the subsequent penalty shoot-out and squandered the chance to become the first side from Africa to reach the semi-finals at a World Cup. Uruguay, missing Suarez, lost in the semi-final to the Netherlands.

If Suarez were ever to fall on hard times in later life there might be some currency in mea culpa tours of Accra and Kumasi.

Bye-bye Bob

“I took the decision just before the World Cup,” said Martinez. “As you can imagine, since 2018 I have had many opportunities to leave and take jobs at club level. I always wanted to be loyal, I always wanted to finish the job and now I don’t resign, this is the end of my contract. This was always the plan.”

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