FIFA World Cup 2022: Meet Takuma Asano - player who scored the match-winning goal for Japan against Germany
Asian giants Japan emerged as giant-killers on November 23 (Wednesday) as they stunned four-time champions Germany in a Group E clash of the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Samurai Blue clawed their way back into the game in the second-half after conceding a first-half goal and completed a memorable and historic 2-1 victory at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Who is Takuma Asano?
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.
Once described as 'a talented young striker and very much one for the future' by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Asano jumped into the scene in 2016. In the 2016 AFC under-23 Championship, the Japanese winger hogged the limelight after scoring two goals against South Korea in the final and helped his team win the trophy.
Currently, the 28-year-old forward plays in the German top flight for VfL Bochum. Asano has scored 10 goals for Japan in 38 caps, the latest of which propelled him to stardom.