Takuma Asano has shocked Germany with a stunning goal to put Japan ahead in the World Cup opener.
At the start of the game, all the talk was about the team photo that Germany took, hands on mouths, in protest of not being able to wear their OneLove captain's armband. Roy Keane said on ITV at half-time that the Germans "could do more" but praised the intent.
Germany took the lead after half an hour when Ilkay Gundogan converted a penalty. Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda got caught in no man's land to make the foul, before Manchester City man Gundogan showed German-like composure from 12 yards.
𝐎𝐇. 𝐌𝐘. 𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐃.The touch 👌The finish 🚀Japan are BEATING Germany thanks to Takuma Asano 😱 pic.twitter.com/9emat3vyB2November 23, 2022
Die Mannscaft could have had another, too, when Kai Havertz was deemed to have been offside as he toe-poked the ball into the Japanese net. The Chelsea forward's celebrations were muted, as he appeared to know the goal was to be disallowed.
Japan found themselves back into the game, bringing on Premier League stars Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kaoru Mitoma among others. Gonda made four saves in quick succession, while German keeper Manuel Neuer had to make a wonder save of his own from a deflected shot.
The Japanese equalised however through Ritsu Doan, before Asano gave the Samarai Blue a surprising lead. Ally McCoist described the finish as "shocking" and "brilliant".
Germany now face an uphill battle to get out of their group. Spain are waiting in the second fixture, while memories of four years ago will be fresh in the minds of the nation. Die Mannschaft crashed out of Russia for at the first hurdle when defending their title, winning just once in the competition.
Both Japan's scorers play their club football in Germany, though Asano had an ill-fated spell at Arsenal – but didn't play a single Premier League game.
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