DOHA—Late goals by Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano gave Japan an incredible 2-1 comeback victory over Germany in the World Cup on Wednesday after the four-time champions had looked to be cruising to victory via an Ilkay Guendogan penalty but paid a fatal price for missing chances.
The shock result was a repeat of the Germans’ 2018 World Cup nightmare when, as defending champions, they lost their opener to Mexico and, after another defeat by South Korea, were condemned to an unheard of group-stage exit.
Germany looked in total command in the Group E clash but, with each missed chance, left the door open for Japan, who showed almost nothing in attack until a series of substitutions injected some energy in the second half.
Doan equalized in the 75th minute before Asano showed lovely control and smashed the winner in from a tight angle – causing an explosion of joy among the Japan bench.
It was a turnaround that looked scarcely believable as Japan struggled to get any foothold for most of the game.