DOHA—Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano’s late goals swept Japan 2-1 against Germany at the World Cup on Wednesday, after four-time champions Japan paid a deadly price despite appearing to be heading towards victory with Ilkay Guendogan’s penalty. It was an incredible comeback victory. to miss opportunities.
The shocking result was a repeat of the Germans’ 2018 World Cup nightmare when they lost their first game to Mexico as defending champions and were sentenced to leave an unheard-of group stage after another defeat to South Korea.
Germany looked to full control in the Group E clash, but at every missed opportunity left the door open for Japan, who showed almost nothing on offense until a series of substitutions injected some energy in the second half.
Doan tied in the 75th minute and Asano showed great control and smashed the winner from a narrow angle – causing a burst of joy on the Japan bench.
This turned out to be an unconvincing comeback as Japan struggled to gain a foothold for much of the game.
Germany’s early dominance was rewarded when Joshua Kimmich selected David Raum in acres of space inside the penalty area and clumsily knocked down goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda as he turned and Guendogan scored the penalty in the 33rd minute.
Kai Havertz turned in what he thought were seconds in the halftime stoppage, and although the assistant referee was nearly the only person at the Khalifa International stadium who hadn’t noticed a meter offside, VAR duly refused to allow it.
Little did the pattern change initially in the second half, as Jamal Musiala took his shot after a penetrating run and Guendogan clipped a post.
Gonda then corrected the situation with four consecutive saves to keep her side in the game, surpassing Jonas Hofmann and Serge Gnabry.
In the fourth World Cup, Manuel Neuer was also on the alert to save Hiroki Sakai and soon succeeded again to block from Takumi Minamino, only for his substitute Doan to shoot the loose ball.
The suddenly revived Japan continued to advance and Asano showed great power and great technique to get the ball into the smallest gaps to take down a high free kick and stop defender Nico Schlotterbeck.
Germany launched an all-out offensive from then on, but to no avail and now faces a potential match against Spain that it should win.
Japan will face Costa Rica next and they will already be dreaming of the last 16.
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