JAPAN STUNNED THE WORLD with their stormy resurgence against Germany that sealed a historic victory for them.
The Asian stalwarts, who were winless against global football giants Germany before today, came back from a goal down thanks to sustained pressure and a late offensive blitz to claim a 2-1 victory that's worthy of writing songs about.
Germany took the lead early on with Gundogan's penalty goal and for the rest of the first half the four time world champions remained dominant, hogging the lion's share of possession. Japan were mostly defending, often with 10 men.
But in the second half things turned around with Japan's focused efforts and smart use of energy started bearing fruit. With German players somewhat slowing down in the final twenty minutes, Japan finally saw their chance at getting even.
The German keeper managed to deflect a shot from the left that sent the ball to Ritsu Doan who was perfectly positioned inside the box to shoot it straight into the net, sending the stadium into a frenzy. This equalizer prompted Germany to push for a second goal, and it quickly became a boon for their opponents as Takuma Asano found acres of space in front of him as he ran after a long ball floated from the Japanese half.
Asano received the sky-high ball with the slightest of touches, and while running in breakneck speed, slotted the ball in from one of the most difficult angles imaginable. The world class goal, as majestic in appearance as its impact on the final scoreline, is an early contender for goal of the tournament in FIFA World Cup 2022.
By now the momentum had swung in Japan's favour and despite their best efforts, Germany could not find a goal for the rest of the match, handing Japan a fairytale triumph.
Just yesterday, Saudi Arabia beat Argentina by the same margin after going a goal down early. These two historic victories for Asian countries in such close proximity have sent out strong signals to the rest of the world; that football in this part of the world is catching up with the traditionally dominant continents in the sport.
Japan's next match is on Sunday afternoon against Costa Rica, who started their campaign with a loss to Spain. If they manage to maintain their form, they can get another win and turn their group into a group of death. Then, all eyes will be on the Sunday night blockbuster between Spain vs Germany; a match worthy of being the World Cup final that will be fought over a spot in the second round.