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Late Goals Help Japan Stun Germany in World Cup 2022

Japan seal historic win in their opening match of the World Cup 2022, beating 2014 winners Germany.

Takuma Asano scored an 83rd-minute winner as Japan stunned four-time world champions Germany 2-1 in their opening match of the World Cup 2022.

Germany led through Ilkay Gundogan’s 33rd-minute penalty at Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday.

Germany looked in total command in the Group E clash but, with each missed chance, left the door open for Japan, who showed almost nothing in attack until a series of substitutions injected some energy in the second half.

However, Japan hit back in quick succession, first through Ritsu Doan’s equaliser and then Asano’s late goal, to seal a historic win that came just a day after Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina.

With the loss, Germany, who were knocked out in the group stages in 2018 as reigning champions, must now fear a second straight early exit.

Japan go top of Group E which also features Spain and Costa Rica who meet later on Wednesday.

Germany are bottom for now. They lost their opener as in 2018 – 1-0 against Mexico – and went on to exit in the group stage as title holders.

Earlier, Germany’s players covered their mouths with their right hands when they lined up for the pre-game photo in a protest against FIFA prohibiting them from using a One Love armband.

“Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position,” the team said in a statement following the protest.

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