Japan stunned Germany in the World Championship with their latest strikes

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group E – Germany – Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – November 23, 2022 Japan’s Maya Yoshida and Kou Itakura REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

DOHA – Late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano sealed an incredible 2-1 win over Germany at the World Cup on Wednesday after four-time champions Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty bid paid a fatal price. for missed chances.

The shock result was a repeat of Germany’s 2018 World Cup nightmare when they lost their first game to reigning champions Mexico and were condemned to an unprecedented group stage exit after another defeat to South Korea.

Germany looked a total team in their Group E clash, but every missed chance left the door wide open for Japan, who showed almost nothing in attack until a series of second-half substitutions provided some energy.

Doan equalized in the 75th minute before Asano showed great control and smashed home the winner from a tight angle, prompting an explosion of joy from the Japanese bench.

It was an unconvincing turnaround as Japan struggled to get any foothold for much of the game.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar – Group E – Germany v Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – November 23, 2022 Japan’s Takuma Asano celebrates after the match REUTERS/Lee Smith

Germany’s early advantage was rewarded when Joshua Kimmich picked out David Raum in acres of space in the box and goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda brought him down clumsily as he awarded the penalty in the 33rd minute.

Kai Havertz converted what he thought was his second in first-half stoppage time and although the assistant referee was about the only person at the Khalifa International Stadium not to notice he was a meter offside, VAR duly disallowed it.

Little changed in the second half as Jamal Musial struck after a penetrating run and Gundogan clipped the post.

Gonda then made amends with four successive saves to deny Jonas Hofmann and Serge Gnabry to keep his side in the game.

Manuel Neuer, making his fourth World Cup appearance, was also alert to save from Hiroki Sakai and did well again after a block from Takumi Minamino, only for substitute Doan to smash home the loose ball.

Suddenly fired up, Japan surged forward and Asano showed great strength to land a high free-kick and keep out defender Nico Schlotterback, showing fantastic technique to slot the ball into the tiniest of gaps.

Germany have since gone on an all-out attack, to no avail, and now face another must-win game against Spain.

Japan will face Costa Rica next and will already be dreaming of the last 16.

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