World Cup data dive: Germany beaten by Japan for first time ever in stunning upset

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Day four of the World Cup provided another surprise as perennial contenders Germany were defeated 2-1 by Japan in Group E on Wednesday.

After Saudi Arabia produced a huge shock to topple Argentina on Tuesday, Hansi Flick's side were another of the favourites to slip up as they lost to Japan for the first time ever.

Prior to Japan's stunning win, 2018 runners-up Croatia limped to a goalless draw against Morocco as their campaign started with a drab attacking display.

Spain strengthened their status as one of the fancied teams to lift their second World Cup trophy in Qatar with a thoroughly dominant 7-0 hammering of a dismal Costa Rica side.

Despite a shaky performance, Belgium overcame Canada 1-0 in the late game as they look to replicate the form that took them to the last four of the 2018 World Cup.

Here, Stats Perform dives into the key data from another exciting day of international action.

Croatia 0-0 Morocco: 2018 finalists blunted by Atlas Lions

Croatia's run to the final in Russia four years ago led to high expectations coming into the 2022 edition, but they fell well short of those in their opening match in Qatar.

They failed to score for the first time in 12 World Cup matches, registering just 0.52 xG (expected goals) as the likes of Luka Modric and Andrej Kramaric were kept quiet.

Morocco's inability to get on the scoresheet was less of a surprise, having now blanked in nine of their 17 matches (53 per cent) in the competition.

The stalemate was the tournament's third in the space of four games, more 0-0 draws than there were in the previous 73 World Cup fixtures.

At 37 years and 75 days, Modric became Croatia's oldest ever World Cup player, while also becoming the first player to appear in both the European Championship and World Cup across three separate decades.

Germany 1-2 Japan: Bundesliga duo stun four-time winners

Ilkay Gundogan scored a first-half penalty as Germany looked to be cruising to a first victory in Group E in their attempts to banish the demons of their 2018 group-stage exit.

Gundogan's conversion from the spot made it 20 successful penalties from Germany's last 21 at the World Cup, including shootouts, with Lukas Podolski the only player to miss in that time (against Serbia in 2010).

But after Flick's men wasted numerous chances to kill the game off, Freiburg's Ritsu Doan and Bochum winger Takuma Asano struck to hand Japan their first-ever win over Germany.

It is the first time since 1978 Germany have lost a World Cup game in which they were leading at half-time, having gone unbeaten in their last 21 such matches, while it is the first time Japan have come from behind to win at the tournament.

It is another poor start for Germany, who lose their opening World Cup match for the second consecutive tournament, having only done so once in their first 18 editions of the competition.

Japan were made to do a lot of defending to earn the upset win, with Shuichi Gonda's eight saves the most by a Japan goalkeeper at the World Cup since 1966, after Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi's 10 against Brazil in 2006.

Spain 7-0 Costa Rica: Luis Enrique's men get off to record-setting flyer

Spain came into the tournament with an exciting youthful side, and their new stars lived up to the billing with a scintillating performance against Costa Rica, earning their biggest ever World Cup victory.

Dani Olmo set them on their way, scoring Spain's 100th World Cup goal as La Roja become just the sixth nation to reach that landmark after Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Italy.

Ferran Torres netted his side's third and fourth goals here with his 14th and 15th in a Spain shirt, making him the third La Roja player to score a double on their World Cup debut after David Villa and Jose Iraragorri.

At the age of 18 years and 110 days, Gavi's goal to make it 5-0 saw him become the youngest player to score at the World Cup since legendary forward Pele for Brazil against Sweden in the 1958 final.

Gavi also became Spain's youngest ever World Cup player.

A woeful Costa Rica performance failed to muster a shot on target, just the second time this has happened at a World Cup since 1966. The side responsible for that other occasion was also Costa Rica, in a 1-0 defeat to Brazil in 1990.

Belgium 1-0 Canada: Martinez's side stumble to victory

Roberto Martinez will be breathing a huge sigh of relief, as his team get off to a winning start despite an impressive performance from a Canada team making their first World Cup appearance since 1986.

Michy Batshuayi was the hero as he smashed home Belgium's winner, scoring for the second time at a World Cup to make it 23 goal involvements in 25 starts for his nation in all competitions.

Batshuayi's strike came after Alphonso Davies missed a golden chance to give Canada the lead from the spot. In denying him, Thibaut Courtois became the first Belgium goalkeeper to save a World Cup penalty since 1966.

By the 32nd minute, Canada recorded more shots (12) than they had in their entire previous World Cup history, but they will be left to rue their lack of ruthlessness as their 2.61 xG came to nothing.

In comparison, Belgium registered just 0.76 xG, but they will not care a jot as they recorded an 11th win in 13 World Cup games since the start of the 2014 World Cup, more than any other country over that time.