World Cup 2022: Japan surprises Germany in Group E match

Japan made things tough for the rest of Group E after the team pulled off their second World Cup upset in as many days with a 2-1 win over Germany.

Germany entered the tournament as one of the favorites to win it all with a veteran-laden squad that won the title in 2014, but disappointment struck again after the team failed to make it out of the group stage in 2018.

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Japan's players celebrate after Takuma Asano scored his team's second goal during the match against Germany at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Japan’s players celebrate after Takuma Asano scored his team’s second goal during the match against Germany at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Ranked 11th in FIFA’s final poll before the World Cup, Germany started very well with Ilkay Gundogan converting a penalty in the 33rd minute. He put the ball into the net past Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. Germany took a 1-0 lead at half time.

It took a further 40 minutes before Japan, ranked 24th in the FIFA rankings, was able to get an equaliser.

Ritsu Doan equalized the game in the 75th minute. Doan entered the field in the 71st minute and used his fresh legs to be in the right place at the right time. A shot ricocheted off German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and off Doan, who put it into the net.

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Eight minutes later, more jubilation for the Japanese team.

Takuma Asano got behind the German defense and took a ridiculous angle to get into the net. He was right in front of Neuer when he kicked the ball over his head and into the far corner of the net.

Joshua Kimmich of Germany reacts after Japan scored at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Joshua Kimmich of Germany reacts after Japan scored at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

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The Japan bench went wild and the fans erupted in cheers.

Japan is now closer to reaching the knockout stage for the second tournament in a row. It is his second victory in his last three tournaments. Japan defeated Colombia in their first match in 2018.

Germany will now expect Spain and Costa Rica to falter in the future. Both teams have a chance to get out of the group now. Spain won the tournament in 2010.

Takuma Asano of Japan celebrates after scoring during the World Cup group E soccer match against Germany in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

Takuma Asano of Japan celebrates after scoring during the World Cup group E soccer match against Germany in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Petr Josek)

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Japan’s stunning victory followed Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina on Tuesday.

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