World News

Japan scores 2 late goals to beat Germany in World Cup upset

Players from Japan celebrate after winning their World Cup match against Germany

DOHA, Qatar — Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals Wednesday to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup.

Ilkay Gündogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. But Doan, who plays for German team Freiburg, pounced on a rebound to equalize in the 76th minute after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked a shot from Takumi Minamino.

Then Asano, who plays for German team Bochum, sprinted clear of Nico Schlotterbeck and beat Neuer from a narrow angle in the 83rd.

It was the first competitive meeting between the two nations.

Players from Japan celebrate after winning their World Cup match against Germany in Doha, Qatar on Nov. 23, 2022. Matthias Schrader / AP

Before the game, Germany’s players covered their mouths during the team photo in an apparent rebuke to FIFA following its decision to stop plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.

Human rights activists have long criticized Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ people.

And team captains of several European teams had planned to wear “One Love” armbands to signal support for the “One Love” campaign for human rights. But the national soccer federations of those squads, instead, adhered to world body FIFA’s demand to not stage that in-game messaging, amid threats of punishment.

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