Home sport Late goals helped Japan beat Germany in the 2022 World Cup

Late goals helped Japan beat Germany in the 2022 World Cup

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Takuma Asano scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute as Japan beat four-time world champions Germany 2-1 in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup.

Germany took the lead from Ilkay Gundogan’s 33rd minute penalty at Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.

Germany appeared to be in control of the Group E encounter, but with every missed opportunity they left the door open for Japan, who showed almost nothing in attack until a series of substitutions injected energy in the second half.

However, Japan responded in quick succession, first with Ritsu Doan’s equalizer and then Asano’s late goal, to seal a historic victory that came just a day after Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina.

“We made history today! Kosuke, one of the Japanese fans, told Al Jazeera, as other fans emerged from Khalifa International Stadium waving flags.

With the defeat, Germany, who exited the group stage in 2018 as champions, must now fear their second successive early exit.

Kosuke said he did not expect his team to beat Germany, but added that nothing could stop Samurai Blue.

“They will lose their minds back home, and maybe they will have a day off tomorrow, just like Saudi Arabia,” Kosuke said with a smile on his face.

Meanwhile, the German partisans marched in silence, shoulders drooping, flags folded.

The loss brought back memories of last season’s World Cup four years ago in Russia when Germany failed to advance beyond the first round.

“Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for us,” German fan Thomas told Al Jazeera.

Japan leads Group E, which also includes Spain and Costa Rica, which will meet later on Wednesday.

Germany is down for the time being. They lost the opening match as they did in 2018 – 1-0 to Mexico – and exited in the group stage as champions.

Earlier, German players covered their mouths with their right hands as they lined up for a photo before the match to protest FIFA’s ban on the use of the One Love armband.

“Depriving us of a captain is depriving us of a voice. We maintain our position,” the team said in a statement after the protest.

Additional reporting by Hafsa Adel in Doha, Qatar

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