Japan defeated Germany in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 by a score of 2-1. Held at Khalifa international stadium, the four-time world champion Germany has made their world cup appearance for the 20th time. At the same time, Japan has also shown remarkable progress in the last decades. Germany and Japan were facing each other for the second time in soccer.
Jamal Muisala and Gnabry had made a strong start; however, neither team scored a goal until the first 32 minutes. Germany showed the majority possession, whereas Japan was more dangerous in counterattacks. Germany scored its first fantastic goal when Ilkay Gündogan (Germany) converted the penalty with a right-footed shot to the bottom left corner. Germany kept leading for 70 minutes before Japan started playing the real sport.
Manuel Neuer prevented an equalizer by Junya Ito and made a sensational save by reaching out to block the Reims winger’s shot in the 73rd minute. However, Japan scored a goal in the 75th minute when Ritsu Doan, a replacement, slammed the ball into the net swiftly after Neuer could only parry 10’s slanted drive.
Japan made a comeback by hitting another goal in the 83rd minute. Takuma Asano scored after expertly controlling a long forward pass before outmuscling Nico Schlotterbeck and putting a tight, angled shot that turned into the goal, leading the Japanese team to the victory.
It is interesting to note that the Japan World Cup team consists of more players from Germany than from Japan. Only seven players from Japan’s World Cup squad are registered with a Japanese team, while eight are now under contract with German teams.