DOHA, Qatar (November 23) — Japan came from a goal behind to stun Germany, one day after Saudi Arabia scored the biggest upset in World Cup history by beating Lionel Messi and Argentina.
On Wednesday, at the Khalifa International Stadium, substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to guide Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Germany in a Group E World Cup opener. It was the first competitive meeting between the two countries.
Germany, a four-time World Cup champion, took the lead in the first half when captain Ilkay Gündogan scored from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute. Read More: Lionel Messi finding ‘No excuses’ after Argentina’s shocking loss to Saudi Arabia
However, after creating numerous chances and coming close several times, Doan, who plays for German side Freiburg, pounced on a rebound to scored the equalizing goal in the 76th minute after Germany veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked the initial shot from Takumi Minamino.
Germany were stunned again seven minutes from titme when another Bundesliga player, Asano, who features for Bochum, broke clear of Nico Schlotterbeck and beat Neuer again, this time from a narrow-angle in the 83rd to seal the victory.
“You have to defend properly over 90 minutes and don’t concede,” Gündogan said after the defeat.
Wednesday’s defeat means Germany will enter the next game against Spain on Sunday needing to avoid another loss. Defeat to the Spaniard would see the 2014 champions eliminated from the World Cup a successive tournaments before playing the last group game.
Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in the second Group E match today.
PHOTO – Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images