Japan Stuns Germany At FIFA World Cup

By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Japan stunned Germany with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in their World Cup Group E opener, courtesy of goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The Germans lined up with Kai Havertz in attack, with Serge Gnabry and Golden Boy nominee Jamal Musiala on the flanks. The Asians started with a front-two of Daizen Maeda and Daichi Kamada, looking to cause an upset.

Japan had an early goal from Maeda ruled out for offside. However, Germany then got a penalty after a clumsy challenge from goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda on David Raum.  Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan stepped up and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda in the 33rd minute.

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (21) celebrates penalty goal against Japan

Just before halftime, Germany thought they had scored a second but Kai Havertz’s effort was also ruled out for offside.

In the second half, Germany created more chances as they struck the post through Gundogan in the 60th minute. Japan then used their super quick attack to equalise.

Substitute Doan fired the ball into the net off a rebound from close range, after goalkeeper Manuel Neuer initially made a save, making the scores 1-1.

Japan’s Ritsu Doan (8) scores equalising goal against Germany.

The Asians continued to press and were rewarded In a turn of events moments later.

Japan sent the fans at the Khalifa International Stadium into a frenzy when another substitute Asano scored from a tight angle, after Germany were caught with their pants down with a ball over the top in the 83rd minute.

Japan forward Takuma Asano (18) celebrates winning goal against Germany during Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

Germany then launched all-out attack, but to no avail as the referee blew the final whistle to a highly entertaining match, with Japan claiming all three points against the mighty Germany.

Japan next face Costa Rica and will already be dreaming of the last 16, while Germany now face a must-win game against Spain next.

Japan players celebrates 2-1 victory against Germany during Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

For Germany, their poor World Cup form continues, having finished bottom of their group at the 2018 tournament, with Spain and Costa Rica yet to play in Group E.

It was a turnaround that looked unlikely for Japan. However, the Qatar 2022 World Cup continues to provide shock results to keep the fans off their feet. For Japan, the sky is the limit for this young, energetic and fearless squad.

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