FIFA World Cup 2022: Five must-know moments from Japan's stunning 2-1 win over four-time champions Germany
Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals Wednesday to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup. Both Doan and Asano play for German clubs. Ilkay Gundogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. But Doan, who plays for Freiburg, pounced on a rebound to equalize in the 76th minute after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked a shot from Takumi Minamino.
Here are the top five moments from Germany vs Japan FIFA World Cup 2022 fixture:
1. Hajime Moriyasu's coaching acumen
After getting bulldozed for the better half of the opening 45 minutes, Japan's boss Hajime Moriyasu probably sat in one corner quietly in the dressing room for a couple of minutes, thought long and hard, strategised and then delivered a nugget of wisdom to his players. Whatever he said during half-time worked wonders but more than that, it was what he did in the second-half that turned the game on its head. Moriyasu made five substitutions in the second-half, and two of those players were on target for the Samurai Blue. Take a bow, Hajime Moriyasu!
2. Takuma Asano - the match-winner
Takuma Asano checked into the game at the 57th-minute mark, and in just 26 minutes, he sent the whole of Japan in ecstasy. The 28-year-old, who plays for VfL Bochum in the German top flight (Bundesliga), collected a floating pass in sublime fashion on the right flank and outran Nico Schlotterbeck before showing immaculate composure in front of the goal. His right-footed effort from close range and with an extremely acute angle beat Manuel Neuer, a moment that paved way for historic scenes at the Khalifa International Stadium.
3. Ritsu Doan's strike gives hope
Before Asano's match-winning goal, it was another substitute Ritsu Doan who infused life into the contest by scoring the equalising goal at the 75th-minute mark, eight minutes before the winning goal.
4. Ilkay Gundogan's clinical finish from the spot
Goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda committed a clumsy foul on David Raum to hand Germany a spot-kick, which Gundogan coolly converted at the 33rd-minute mark. At that point, Germany were bossing the game and it looked like the four-time champions would run riot. Well, football is a funny game that is not won on reputation.
5. Several chances went begging for Germany
A VAR review denied Germany a second as Kai Havertz tapped home from an offside position after Gonda saved from Joshua Kimmich, before Gundogan hit the base of the post after the restart. Gonda denied Gnabry three times in quick succession as Germany continued to create chances.
(With agency inputs)