Japan have defeated four-time champions Germany 2-1 and produced another big upset in the FIFA World Cup 2022. This is yet another come-from-behind victory for a side which wasnt a favourite going into the game. Japans coach made brilliant tactical substitutions in the second half and it worked out perfectly for them.

Germany – who entered the game a clear favourite – went in half-time with a significant 1-0 lead, courtesy of Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty conversion in the 32nd minute of the match. Japanese goalkeeper Shuiri Gonda committed a foul inside the box and Japan received a penalty.

Gundogan – who had already made several attempts in the Japanese box – was given a set piece and the penalty specialist converted without much fuss for his team. It was a simple right-footed shot to the bottom left corner and to which the opposition’s Number 1 had no answer. Germany, thus, went 1-0 and maintained the same result till the end of the first half.

However, the Japanese came back strongly in the second half and showed they were in no mood to let it go from the very first minute after half-time.

Hansi Flick’s side squandered several golden opportunities to put the game to bed before Freiburg forward Doan made them pay from a rebound 15 minutes from time. The equaliser for Japan came in the 75th minute as Doan – who was substituted not more than five minutes before – hit a left-footed shot from the centre of the box and Manuel Neuer couldn’t prevent it. The Japanese fans erupted in a huge roar as Die Mannschaft’s lead was nullified.

Japan beat Germany. Inside Qatar/Vinod Divakaran

In the 83rd minute, Japan took a lead and stunned the strong German side thanks to Asano. It was a right-footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the high centre of the goal and Neuer failed to save it. Germany’s defence looked patchy in at times in the game and they paid the price for it.

Before Wednesday’s game, German players covered their mouths during the team photo in an apparent rebuke to FIFA following its decision to stop plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.

The German manager’s tactics were also not good in the game as the substitutions he made didn’t pay off. The last time when Germany lost a World Cup match after taking a lead was back in 1994 WC against Bulgaria (2-1) in WC knockouts.

This defeat leaves Die Mannschaft under huge pressure ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Spain.