By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
On another World Cup game day, another upset made its way.
After the second-lowest ranked team in Saudi Arabia shocked Lionel Messi and Argentina a couple of days ago, another team pulled off an upset against one of the favorite squads to win the 2022 World Cup championship title.
Last November 23, 2022, football fans all around the world just witnessed Japan edge Germany, 2-1, during their World Cup opening match schedule.
It was one of the most surprising matchups in the World Cup as the experienced German team dominated Japan soon as the whistle was blown.
The four-time champions showed they are the more disciplined and systematic team after picking Japan apart which resulted in an early penalty attempt in the 31st minute.
As David Raum draws the foul in the penalty area, superb striker Ilkay Gündogan paid off the trust of his team after giving Germany the 1-0 lead.
Germany continued to run their offensive executions until the end of the half which boosted their morale heading into the last 45 minutes of the game.
However, Japan had other plans and used their substitutions to perfection after the duo of Takuma Asano and Ritsu Doan came in the second half.
Little did everybody know that that move helped Japan weather the storm to shift the momentum after equalizing the match in the 75th minute courtesy of Doan’s left-footed shot from the center of the penalty box.
As the score officially became 1-1, the Japanese fans in attendance then rose to their feet and screamed their lungs out sensing that an upset could happen again.
Their gut feeling wasn’t wrong eight minutes after the Doan goal after co-substitute Asano found the back of the net from the right side of the box.
Germany tallied several shots in an attempt to deadlock the score at 2-2 but time wasn’t on their side as Japan started to celebrate inside the pitch.
“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.
A little fun fact about Japan’s Asano and Doan who provided the second-half goals: These two booters play in Germany.
Asano plays in Germany’s premier football league Bundesliga for Bochum while Doan renders his services to Freiburg.
Crazy isn’t it?