Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored in the second half to stun Germany team and earn Japan a 2-1 win, marking the 2022 World Cup’s second-biggest upset so far.
The second-biggest upset of the 2022 World Cup so far was a product of soccer’s globalization.
Germany, a longtime superpower, bossed long stretches of its Wednesday opener here at the Khalifa International Stadium.
But in an exhilarating second half, the Germans were stunned and beaten by a brilliant Japan team that their own Bundesliga helped create.
Ritsu Doan, current employee of German club SC Freiburg, came off the bench to net a deserved equalizer in the 75th minute.
Takuma Asano, current employee of German club VfL Bochum, came off the bench to score an astounding winner, and earn a 2-1 victory.
They were two of seven players from the German top flight, but in Japanese blue, who turned the game on its head in the second half. Another one, Maya Yashida, said he’d gone to FC Schalke this summer specifically “to understand German football, German culture and the opponent.”
“It’s not only one reason, but this is one of the reasons why I came,” and “of course” it helped on Wednesday, he said.
Others have taken their games to the next level in an increasingly multicultural league. And that league, by extension, has helped propel the Japanese national team to breathtaking heights.
“They are fighting at a very strong, tough, prestigious league, so they’ve been building up their strength,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said of his Bundesliga players. “So in that context, we believe that these leagues have been contributing for the development of Japanese players.”