FIFA World Cup: Japan come from behind to stun Germany 2-1

Ilkay Guendogan put Germany ahead via a penalty kick in the 33rd minute. The Germans dominated the opening 45 minutes of the game but it was a different story that unfolded after the break.

Japan Germany FIFA World Cup 2022
Japan players celebrate their second goal against Germany at the FIFA World Cup 2022 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Wednesday (November 23). Photo: Twitter/FIFA

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia upset Argentina at the FIFA World Cup 2022 and today (November 23), Japan came from a goal down to edge four-time Germany 2-1 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

It was a massive win for the Asian nation after trailing 0-1 at half-time.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: All you need to know about the tournament in Qatar

Ilkay Guendogan put Germany ahead via a penalty kick in the 33rd minute. The Germans dominated the opening 45 minutes of the game but it was a different story that unfolded after the break.

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A spirited Japan cancelled out the lead with substitute Ritsu Doan’s 75th-minute goal and moved ahead to seal the contest thanks to another substitute Takuma Asano’s goal in the 83rd minute.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Schedule, groups, match times in IST, venues, live TV, streaming, and more

In the final minutes, Germany pressed hard to earn the equaliser but Japan defend stoutly and claimed a famous win.

Earlier, Germany’s players covered their mouths for their team photo before the start of the match in an apparent rebuke of FIFA’s clampdown on plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.

Also read: Full list of all 32 squads for FIFA World Cup 2022

The team lined up in the traditional formation before the game and each of the 11 players covered their mouth with their right hand.

It seemed to be a response to FIFA’s warning to the seven European federations, including Germany’s, that players would be penalised if they wore colourful “One Love” armbands as a symbol for inclusion and diversity. The seven team captains had planned to wear the armbands.

Also read: Why more stoppage time is added at FIFA World Cup 2022

Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalising homesexuality.

In a statement, German team said, “We wanted to use our captain’s armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn’t the case. That’s why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

Football’s governing body issued the warning Monday just hours before the first teams were set to play with their captain wearing the armband. FIFA said the players would immediately be shown a yellow card.

Germany coach Hansi Flick and football federation president Bernd Neuendorf were among those to criticise FIFA’s decision. Neuendorf said Tuesday it was “another low blow” from FIFA.

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