Japan complete late comeback to beat Germany 2-1

Japan complete late comeback to beat Germany 2-1
Credit: B/R Football/Twitter.

Japan came back from a goal behind against Germany to win 2-1 and complete a shocking victory at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the second in two days after Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina on Tuesday.

Japan scored two goals within a span of 10 minutes to beat Germany, which has narrowed the former World Cup champions' qualification chance for the competition's round of 16.

One of the favourites to go far into the competition, Germany's first game at the Khalifa International Stadium was a chance to overturn the country's early eliminations at the 2018 World Cup and last year's Euro 2020.

Facing Germany was Japan, who sit 24th in the FIFA rankings.

However, the match got off to a controversial start ahead of the game, as the German players protested FIFA's decision to threaten teams wanting to wear the OneLove captain's armband, which calls for improved LGBT+ rights in Qatar.

They did this by covering their mouths, indicating that they were being silenced by the organisation.

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Once the ball was kicked, the match started as many had expected with Germany taking the lead after 33 minutes after a penalty was converted by İlkay Gündoğan. Just before the stroke of half-time, Germany once again put the ball in the back of Japan's net through a Kai Havertz header, but it was ruled offside.

At half-time, the Japanese coach decided to pursue a more attacking style of play by changing formations.

While the Germans had the greater share of possession and chances, they could not convert them.

Japan's changes finally paid off towards the end of the match as the substitute Ritsu Doan equalised in the 75th minute for 1-1.

Eight minutes later, the Asian nation shocked the stadium by going 2-1 ahead through Takuma Asano who to make matters worse, will be a familiar face to most German fans as he plays in the Bundesliga for VfL Bochum.

The Japanese national team managed to hold on until the final whistle to secure a historic World Cup victory.

Germany now face the unenviable task of playing against Spain, semi-finalists at the 2020 Euros, with anything less than a draw rendering their chances of advancing to the knockout stages unlikely – almost impossible.

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