Another World Cup day, another World Cup shock.
Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals Wednesday to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany, Associated Press reported.
Both Doan and Asano play for German clubs.
“I believe it’s a historic moment, a historic victory. If I think about the development of Japanese soccer, thinking of players, for them this was a big surprise,” said Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu, who had five Germany-based players in his starting lineup and three, including the scorers, on the bench.
“They’re fighting in a very strong, tough, prestigious league. They’ve been building up their strength. In that context we believe that those divisions (Bundesliga and second division) have been contributing to the development of Japanese players,” Moriyasu said. “I’m very grateful for that.”
Ilkay Gündogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. But Doan, who plays for Freiburg, pounced on a rebound to equalize in the 76th minute after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked a shot from Takumi Minamino.
The match was played a day after Argentina’s 2-1 upset loss to Saudi Arabia.
Before Wednesday’s game, Germany’s 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.