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Japan Shock Germany in Opening Fixture At The 2022 Qatar World Cup

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Tactical changes by Japan prove vital as they snatch all three points from Germany, late in the game, in their World Cup opening fixture

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Germany versus Japan began with lots of tension and misplaced passes. Rather scrappy, Germany survives the first scare of their 2022 Qatar World Cup opening fixture as Gundogan loses possession in midfield, leading to a disallowed goal for Japan, as early as the 8th minute.

Despite the slow start, Die Mannschaft were quick to make a statement before kickoff.

Joshua Kimmich drove in a hard shot in the 20th minute- easily parried away. A few minutes later Gündoğan gets a chance to shoot and sends it straight to Japan goalkeeper Gonda.

32 minutes in and Die Mannschaft break the deadlock. Raum is fouled in the box as he checks back from the goalkeeper. Ilkay Gündoğan calmly wrong-foots the goalkeeper. 1-0 Germany  🦾 

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring at their 2022 Qatar World Cup fixture (Photo: Courtesy)
Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring at their 2022 Qatar World Cup fixture (Photo: Courtesy)

Germany almost double their lead but Kai Havertz’s goal, right before half time is ruled out for offside.

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Second Half

The match resumes and Japan make their first change. Arsenal’s Tomiyasu comes on to replace Kubo.

Germany began strong with winger Serge Gnabry’s shot brushing off the crossbar and sailing out of play, just two minutes into the second half.

Japan gained a hold of their game after the introduction of Asano and Mitoma, replacing Nagatomo and Maeda.

74 minutes into the fixture, AS Monaco forward Minamino replaces Sakai and makes an immediate impact. A minute later and his cross-cum-shot is parried by Neuer and meets Doan, who equalizes. All three subs were involved in the game much to the delight of manager Hajime Moriyasu.

Japan sensationally take the lead through second-half substitute Asano in the 85th minute. Neuer will definitely be infuriated, beaten at the near post, not overlooking Asano’s sublime first touch from the lobbed pass and a fine finish.  

Japan win. 🤩 

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