Trailing 1-nil in the 75th minute Wednesday at Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar, Japan forward Ritsu Doan — who substituted into the game just four minutes prior —hammered a rebound goal past Germany keeper Manuel Neuer to even the match.
Eight minutes later, Japan forward Takuma Asano scored a top-corner goal from the right edge of the six-yard box en route to a 2-1 upset victory over Germany in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda made a tournament-high eight saves including this impressive sequence of rejections.
Gonda conceded Germany’s lone goal to midfielder Ilkay Gündogan on a penalty kick in the first half.
Japan — ranked No. 24 in the FIFA Men’s World Ranking — are tied for the lead in Group E after claiming three points, while No. 11 Germany remains pointless following the loss.
Spain Makes History Against Costa Rica
No. 7 Spain cruised to a 7-0 win over No. 31 Costa Rica Wednesday — marking the decorated nation’s largest margin of victory in World Cup history.
Midfielder Dani Almo sparked Spain’s goal parade in the 11th minute before forward Marco Asensio extended the lead just 10 ten minutes later.
Spain forward Ferran Torres scored a penalty-kick goal in the 31st minute before he opened up a 4-0 advantage shortly into the second half.
In the 74th minute, 2022 Golden Boy award winner Gavi kicked a laser beam off the right post and into the back of the net for Spain’s fifth goal. The 18-year-old midfielder became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal since Pele (17) in 1958.
Spanish midfielder Carlos Soler and forward Álvaro Morata netted the final two goals during last 10 minutes of the match to put the nail in Costa Rica’s coffin.
Costa Rica failed to record a shot the entire match and controlled only 18% of the possession, while Spain dominated the remaining 82%.
Historical Match Awaits
Japan will face Costa Rica Sunday at 5 a.m. before Germany takes on Spain at 2 p.m. With a victory, the Japanese will clinch their fourth knockout-stage appearance in the past six World Cups. If Spain defeats Germany, the Germans will fail to advance past the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup following their 2014 title run in Brazil. Germany is 9-8-8 all-time versus Spain and 2-1-1 against the Spaniards at the World Cup.