Japan achieved a historic victory in their first match at the 2022 World Cup, defeating 2014 winners Germany.
Takuma Asano scored an 83rd-minute winner as Japan stunned four-time world champions Germany 2-1 in their opening match at the 2022 World Cup.
Germany took the lead after Ilkay Gundogan’s 33rd-minute penalty at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.
Germany looked completely in command in the Group E clash, but every missed chance left the door open for Japan, who showed next to nothing in attack until a series of substitutions injected some energy into the second half.
However, Japan hit back in quick succession, first through Ritsu Doan’s equalizer and then Asano’s late goal to seal a historic victory that came just a day after Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina.
With the loss, Germany, who crashed out in the group stage in 2018 as reigning champions, must now fear a second successive early exit.
Japan top Group E, which also includes Spain and Costa Rica, who meet later on Wednesday.
Germany is at the bottom for now. They lost their first match of 2018 – 1-0 against Mexico – and went out in the group stage as title holders.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 23, 2022
Earlier, Germany’s players covered their mouths with their right hands as they lined up for a pre-match photo to protest FIFA’s ban on the One Love armband.
“Denying us the tape is the same as denying us a voice.” We stand by our position,” the team said in a statement after the protest.