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World Cup 2022 - Germany 1-2 Japan: Late Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano goals earn shock victory

Nick Wilhelm

Updated: Nov 24, 2022 01:59

World Cup 2022 - Germany 1-2 Japan: Late Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano goals earn shock victory


Japan's Ritsu Doan celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mates

With goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano, Japan upset Germany with a late comeback in their World Cup debut, winning 2-1 in the Khalifa International Stadium.

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Match report as Ilkay Gundogan put Germany ahead in the first half but Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored within eight second-half minutes for Japan to secure a famous World Cup victory; Japan had never previously beaten Germany


Doan celebrates after scoring Japan's equaliser

Japan had never defeated their European rivals before, but they took advantage of German mistakes and wasted opportunities to earn a storied triumph in Group E's opening match. After the game, forward Thomas Muller said: "That we are here with a loss is absurd. Long stretches of good play from us, but a game is also defined by the chances you turn into goals."

Hansi Flick's team quickly took the lead when a clumsy challenge from goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda on David Raum resulted in a penalty and Ilkay Gundogan converted from the spot after Japan had an early 'goal' from Daizen Maeda thrown out for offside as well (33).

At the conclusion of the first half, Germany believed they had scored a second goal, but Kai Havertz's effort was also disallowed for offside.

Gundogan hit the post on the hour, and the four-time World Cup champions continued to see opportunities come and go before Japan exploited their lightning-quick attack to score again late on.

Did you know?

Germany haven't lost a World Cup match when leading at half-time since 1978.

Doan scored from close range following a Manuel Neuer save four minutes after coming on as a replacement. Asano (83) was then able to sneak the ball home on a tight angle after Germany was taken off guard by a ball over the top.

Every goal scored by Japan was met with a team bundle at the corner flag, and there were happy celebrations at the end of the game. "It comes as a tremendous shock. We witnessed Saudi Arabia defeat Argentina; Asia is catching up to the rest of the world in this regard "Hajime Moriyasu, the Japan coach, stated.

Germany's terrible World Cup performance has continued as they placed last in their group at the 2018 competition.

How Japan secured a famous victory

Japan got off to a strong start and scored after only seven minutes. In midfield, Gundogan was forced off the ball before Junya Ito sprinted down the right wing. Maeda eventually slid his cross into the net, but he was a yard offside.

After the 20-minute mark, Germany started to gain momentum and had a succession of opportunities. Gonda palmed away Joshua Kimmich's long-range attempt before Gundogan skied the rebound. The Man City midfielder then saw a shot go straight at Gonda, followed a minute later by another attempt that was successfully blocked.

Big moments in the game...

7th min: Maeda’s early goal ruled out for offside.

32nd min: Germany awarded penalty after Gonda foul on Raum, scored by Gundogan.

45+3 min: Havertz’s goal also ruled out for offside.

61st min: Gundogan sees his effort hit the post.

75th min: Doan scores the equaliser for Japan shortly after coming on as a substitute.

83rd min: Asano scores the winner for Japan after a long ball over the top.

Even though Gonda played well in the first 30 minutes, his clumsy goalkeeping cost Germany a penalty when he sprinted out to meet Raum, tripped him up, caught him again, and nearly fell on top of him.

Gundogan stepped up and skillfully despatched his penalty kick to put the four-time World Cup champions in ahead after having two earlier attempts blocked.


Germany's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal

After then, Germany started to take control and believed they had a second goal in the third of the four additional minutes towards the end of the first half. After a VAR review, Havertz's goal from a Serge Gnabry cross was correctly disallowed for offside.

Japan had the opportunity to further spice up the first half's conclusion, but Maeda's header went just wide of the mark.


Kai Havertz had a goal ruled out offside at the end of the first half

The second half got off to an end-to-end start, and Gundogan ought to have added another goal at the hour. Jamal Musiala, who is superb, drove down the left before setting up the midfielder from a distance of 15 yards. Gundogan attempted to score, but his shot smacked off the post and missed the target. Gonda also stopped Jonas Hoffman and Gnabry in quick succession in the 70th minute.

However, the Japanese comeback was imminent, and Neuer quickly made his first game-saving save by stopping Asano. When Japan's equalizer was being set up, he made another outstanding stop, getting a hand to Takumi Minamino's cut-back, but Doan was waiting inside the box and slid home from close range.


Takuma Asano scored on a tight angle past Manuel Neuer

Neuer would have preferred to perform better for the champion from Japan, though. Asano drove into the area after being found by a long ball over the top down the right side in behind the defense. In order to get the ball past the goalkeeper and into the far corner, he outmuscled Nico Schlotterbeck.

As Germany sought for an equalizer, the game came to a frenetic conclusion. As Neuer stepped up to add more body to the area, Leon Goretzka attempted a volley but it missed the post. The Japan bench cheered every clearance like it was a goal as they managed to hang on for a crucial three points.


Players from Germany covered their mouths as they posed for the team photo, in protest at FIFA banning the OneLove armband from being worn in Qatar

Opta stats - Japan's historic win

After drawing two games and losing 11 of their previous 13 games when they trailed before today, Japan came from behind to win a World Cup match for the first time ever.

Germany lost their first match at each of the last two World Cups after losing their opening match at just one of their first 18 World Cup competitions (W13 D4).

In their World Cup match against Germany, Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano made history as Japan became the first team to score twice with replacements.

Only Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi in 2006 (10 vs. Brazil) and Shuichi Gonda today (eight) have made more saves for Japan in a single World Cup game since 1966.

What the result means...

Germany is currently third in Group E following the first two games after Spain's 7-0 victory over Costa Rica later on Wednesday. Japan is in second place after the 2010 champions.

On Saturday, both sides are back in action as Japan takes on Costa Rica and Germany plays Spain in what was formerly thought to be a shootout for first and second place in the group. If Germany loses, they could be on the verge of being eliminated.

On December 1, the final group games will take place. Spain will play Japan, who will be looking to pull off another shock against one of Europe's most successful teams, while Germany will play Costa Rica.

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