World Cup 2022: Japan stuns Germany in sensational win

Doha, Qatar - Japan produced the second seismic shock at the Qatar World Cup on Wednesday by coming from behind in a stunning 2-1 win over four-time champion Germany!

Japan players celebrate at full time after a famous win over Germany.
Japan players celebrate at full time after a famous win over Germany.  © REUTERS

Like Argentina in its upset 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia the previous, Germany led from a first-half penalty by Ilkay Gündogan.

Several German chances came and went, all while Japan steadily improved throughout the game. The Samurai Blue then exploded into action with two goals in less than 10 minutes.

First, Ritsu Doan slid in a rebound in the 75th, then Takuma Asano embarrassed Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck in the 83rd before for smashing in at the near post to secure Japan's biggest World Cup win to date.

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Hajime Moriyasu went top in Group E which also features Spain and Costa Rica, set to kick off at 11 AM EST.

Germany have now lost their first game in consecutive tournaments, after their disastrous 2018 campaign got off to a 1-0 defeat to Mexico. They went on to exit in the group stage as titleholders in Russia, and another early knockout is a serious worry here.

German team protests One Love armband decision

The day started with a powerful stand by German players, who covered their mouths with their hands when they lined up for the pre-game photo.

It was a protest against FIFA forbidding them and six other teams from using the multicolored One Love armband in a vague show of support for diversity in Qatar, which has been criticized over its human rights record.

Germany captain Manuel Neuer wore the official armband but the nation's interior minister, Nancy Faeser, was photographed wearing the One Love armband in the stadium where FIFA president Gianni Infantino was also present.

The armband controversy had overshadowed the build-up to the game where the Germans had aimed for a good start to make the shame of 2018 forgotten, but wasted chances up front and poor defending at the back cost them.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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