Samurai Blue put Germany to the sword with 2-1 win

Doha, Nov 23 (EFE).- Japan scored two goals in the last 15 minutes as they came from behind to upset four-time World Cup winners Germany in their opening Group E match on Wednesday.

The Germans had largely controlled the match from the kick off, limiting Japan to sporadic counter attacks, and took a deserved lead when Ilkay Gundogan converted from the penalty spot after David Raum had been clumsily brought down by Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda.

But against the run of play, substitute Ritsu Doan struck in the 75th minute to cap off an incisive counter attack that leveled the score.

Germany, utterly dominant until then, were rattled, and Takuma Assano, who had also come off the bench, completed the turnaround on 83 minutes after breaking a lackluster offside trap and driving into the box to fire high past Manuel Neuer, who was beaten at his near post.

The Germans had been on top for most of the game, peppering the Japanese goal with 26 shots and dominating with 74% ball possession, but they were unable to convert a host of chances.

Young star Jamal Musiala was their main attacking focal point, as he carved out several openings that were either wasted by wayward finishing or saved by an in-form Gonda in goal for the Samurai Blue.

Germany’s pain was compounded by the fact that Japan’s two goal scorers both ply their trade in the German Bundesliga.

It was the perfect start for Japan in a tough group that also features Spain and Costa Rica, who face each other later on Wednesday. EFE


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