Japan surprises Germany with two second half goals

It is the second time that Germany has lost to an Asian team in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

After Saudi Arabia caused a major upset in toppling Argentina , it was the turn of another Asian team, Japan, to cause a flutter in the FIFA World Cup 2022. Japan shocked Germany 2-1. Goals from substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano in the last 15 minutes gave Japan a stunning 2-1 upset over four-times champions Germany in their World Cup Group E opener on Wednesday. Though the Germans had dominated the contest at the Khalifa International Stadium and started aggressively. It was in the 33rd minute that four time champions Germany took the lead following a penalty from which Ilkay Guendogan  made no mistake. The penalty was awarded after Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda had fouled wing back David Raum. Though the German pressed hard, it could not consolidate its lead.

In the second half, Japan’s raids into the German half became more and more frequent, culminating in Doan’s equaliser and a brilliant finish from Asano eight minutes later.

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It is the second time that Germany has lost to an Asian team in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

 In the first match of the day, Croatia and Morocco played out a 0-0 draw at the Al Bayt Stadium Incidentally, it was the fourth match of the present World Cup that ended in a stalemate.. Last night defending champions France made an impressive start with a comfortable win against Australia. France, hit by injuries, dominated the proceedings against the Aussies to earn maximum three points from the game.

It’s still early days in the World Cup but based on the evidence so far, the gulf between the second-rung European sides and those from the rest of the world has narrowed down considerably. Europe is rightly considered the strongest as far as overall footballing pedigree is concerned, with teams from around the continent being competitive due to the strong domestic and UEFA structures and a tradition and following of the game. But as we have seen, Denmark, Poland, Wales and now Croatia have been held by Tunisia, Mexico, USA and Morocco, and one may argue that some of those results flattered the European sides.

 

Prabhjot Singh

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