DOHA. – A stunning late comeback from Japan saw four-time winners Germany fall to a shock 1-2 defeat in their opening World Cup game in Qatar.
Germany dominated a frenetic match for large spells but failed to capitalise on their pressure – before Japan caused the Khalifa International Stadium to erupt into a mix of celebration and surprise.
Substitute Takuma Asano squeezed in a thumping strike from a tight angle to make it 2-1 to Japan and ran over to the photographers in the corner of the stadium in sheer delight.
There was a collective pause in the arena as the ball rolled down from the roof of the net before supporters realised it had gone in.
1 – Japan have won a World Cup match in which they conceded first for the first time in their history (D2 L7 before today).
9 – İlkay Gündoğan has scored nine goals in 22 appearances for Germany since the start of 2021, after scoring eight goals in 42 games for the national side between 2011 and 2020. Pepped.
8 – Eight players from Japan’s World Cup squad are currently under contract with German teams, while only seven players from Japan’s squad are currently registered to a Japanese side.
12 – Yuto Nagatomo is the first Japanese player to play in four different World Cup tournaments, while he is also now the player with the most appearances for Japan in the tournament (12), surpassing Makoto Hasebe and Eiji Kawashima (both 11). – BBC Sport/OptaJoe