2022 CM Cup – Group E: Big in Japan

Hello! Day 5 of the 2022 CM Cup and we’ve got another wild group for you to feast on. Chile and Japan are charged with trying to upset either Spain or Germany – or both – and we have 4 experienced managers in the hot seats.

Mark Carruthers is one of very few who has played in every single CM Cup. He is yet to win one but he was runner up once. He has a plumb draw in Germany though and will fancy his chances of going far. Andrew Walker has also played a few CM Cups in his time and ironically represented Germany in 2020. Now he has Spain and a great chance of going far in this years event.

Representing the blog squad we have Nick Rowe, who is relishing a reunion with Rodrigo Barrera and Chile. They’re not a bad side of course but a bit erratic. Harry is back for his second CM Cup but he has the worst draw possible in Japan. They’re not well represented in the database, with a very small pool of players and many 0 ability and indeed 0 position players. They have one goalkeeper. Goodness me. Let’s football!

This would be a shock is Japan get across half way.

Japan vs Germany

We all know Miura. He’s still playing now, remarkably. Harry’s gone for 2-3-1-2-2 which is probably as good as it will get.

Mark has gone for a sweeper defensive. It’s unconventional to not just play 9 up front these days but longer term, I can see the logic.

As expected, this one is done and dusted early on. Bobic raised some eyebrows getting the nod over some other options but he shuts up the doubters with a quick double.

Aye. What can you say really?

Japan didn’t just lie down but they don’t have the quality to trouble a mighty side like the Germans.

Chile vs Spain might be more of a contest.

Chile vs Spain

Nick also goes for the old 2-3-1-2-2 but has a tasty front 5. Attack is the best form of defence although there is always a chance Javier Margas will sort it all out at the back.

Andrew has opted for this up/down lopsided number. To be honest sometimes the stranger the better but Nikolai found some great success with this, or a variation anyway.

Ah. It’s Spain who hit the ground running, with both central midfielders and the number 10 on the scoresheet. Raul climbs off the bench to score a fourth and end any hopes of a fight back after Acuna made it 3-1. Clarence Acuna was once arrested dressed as Captain Hook. Look it up.

Man of the match though.

A clinical performance from Andrew’s lads. Si Senor.

Let’s have the two losing sides and the two winning sides face off.

Chile vs Japan

Again, again says Ro.

Likewise, if it is broken but you can’t fix it…

Pick the bones out of this. Japan take a shock lead thanks to Takagi, but five minutes later they’re 2-1 down when Zamorano and Salas both net. Zamorano completes his hat trick and Salas adds another to make it 5-1 before Takagi scores two in 3 minutes to make it 5-3. The third goal sees Chile’s keeper Tapia dismissed in the penalty incident. Barrera makes it 6-3 on the stroke of half time. It might be 6-3 but Chile are a man light and Japan are fearless.

Miura makes it 6-4 and a minute later, Hattori makes it 6-5. Goodness gracious. Japan throw everything they have at Chile but Zamorano scores his fourth late on to finally settle a crazy game.

No shock to see Zamorano get man of the match.

37 shots between these two.

On we go to the heavyweight clash. If Spain win or it’s a draw, Japan are out.

Spain vs Germany

Luis Enrique is in on the left for Spain. Same set up otherwise.

Same again for Marky.

A dull first half is soon forgotten when Hassler scores right after half time. A defeat for Spain wouldn’t be a disaster in terms of advancing but everybody wants the top spot. Oli equalises and Japan are on the verge of being eliminated…until Bobic pops in the winner and Tokyo and Berlin go equally wild.

It’s a smash and grab really. Kopke gets man of the match.

2 shots on target and 2 goals. Molina’s place will surely come under threat.

Here we are then, the table after 2 games each. Nobody is guaranteed to go through. Germany just need a point to be certain. If Chile were to win by 3, they’d leapfrog Germany in the table. Japan need to beat Spain handsomely and hope Germany beat Chile. Spain just need to better or equal Chile’s result.

You wouldn’t say it’s all to play for but it’s not quite all over.

Germany vs Chile

No Helmer for Germany, so Worns is in.

Here come Chile, who are in need of a shock win.

Bierhoff calms any nerves in the third minute and the veteran Matthaus makes it 2 just before half time. Rozental briefly ignites Chilean hopes but Babbel makes it 3 and Matthaus makes it 4 late on with Chile chasing the game.

It wasn’t even close. Very professional from Germany, who advance as group winners.

Can Japan pull off the unlikeliest of miracles? Spain just need a narrow defeat.

Japan vs Spain

Japan have an issue in goal…and they only have one real goalkeeper. We’ll have to play the grey.

Ronny Schurmann! He’s German but has a Japanese grandparent.

Same again for Andrew and Spain.

Japan are the people’s champions really. Them and Ivory Coast. They’ve gone down swinging. Okano makes it 1-1 here but as a nation briefly believes, it’s soon 3-1. Hattori makes it 3-2 but that just seems to irritate Spain, who score 4 quickfire goals. At 7-2. you’d think Japan have had enough but no, they score two more to make it 7-4. Raul wraps up his hat-trick in injury time. Rapturous applause all round.

Ronny Schurmann isn’t to blame.

Then again, 10 shots on target and 8 goals, maybe he is.

So just to sum it all up, Germany and Spain advance. Who’d have thought it?

It’s Group F tomorrow – Belgium get the rare benefit of being far better in 2022 than they are in 1997 and thus are seeded. Can anybody stop them? Well, probably. See you then!

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