Japan made the rest of Group E difficult after the team pulled off their second 2022 World Cup shocker in as many days with a 2-1 win over Germany.
Germany came into the tournament as favorites to win it all with a veteran squad that won the title in 2014, but hopes were further dented after the exit of the meeting in 2018.
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Ranked 11th in the last FIFA poll before the World Cup, Germany started well with Ilkay Gundogan taking the 33rd-minute penalty. He put the ball into the net past Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. Germany led 1-0 at halftime.
It took 40 more minutes before Japan – the number 24 in the FIFA rankings – could get the equalizer.
Ritsu Doan tied the game in the 75th minute. Doan entered the field in the 71st minute and used his new legs to stand in the right place at the right time. A shot deflected off German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in front of Doan, who put it into the net.
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Eight minutes later, there was much cheering for the Japanese side.
Takuma Asano got behind the German defense and took a ridiculous angle to find the net. He was in front of Neuer when he sent the ball over his head into the far corner of the net.
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The Japanese presence was happy and the fans were happy.
Japan is moving closer to reaching the knockout stage for the second straight tournament. It was their second win in their last three matches. Japan defeated Colombia in their opening match in 2018.
Germany is hoping for Spain and Costa Rica to leave the line. Both teams have a shot out of the group at this point. Spain won the tournament in 2010.
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Japan’s impressive win follows Saudi Arabia’s upset of Argentina on Tuesday.