Japanese national team, Japan, stunned Germany after scoring two goals in the last five minutes of their World Cup opener. Goals were scored by Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano and saw Japan win 2-1 against Germany at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Japan had never beaten their European competitors before, but they managed to capitalize on German errors and missed chances to secure a famous victory in the first game of Group E.
Japan had a penalty called offside, ruled out by the referee. Hansi Flick’s side went ahead anyway after Shuichi Gonda, the goalkeeper, clumsily made a challenge on David Raum and gave them a penalty. Ilkay Gundogan slotted to make it 2-0 (33).
Germany thought they had scored a second goal at the end of the first half but Kai Havertz was ruled to be offside.
World champions Germany found it tough to break down a disciplined Japanese side, with Gundogan’s strike hitting the post, before Japan attacked in lightning quick fashion to grab two late goals.
Germany hasn’t lost a World Cup match when leading at half-time since 1978.
When they came on as a substitute, four minutes passed before Doan put them ahead from close range. Neuer then only managed to punch out the ball. Japan were then caught out with the ball over the top, allowing Asano to smuggle in an easy shot with an unexpected angle.
Each Japan goal in the match was followed with a team bundle at the corner flag, and joyous celebrations at full-time. Germany, on the other hand, has been struggling since their last World Cup appearance. Germany finished last in their group this past year’s tournament, with Spain and Costa Rica yet to play in Group E at the time of this writing.