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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Blue Samurai stun the Germans with a comeback to win 2-1

After coming back from a goal down to defeat four-time champion Germany with an astonishing 2-1 victory, Japan began their FIFA World Cup in stunning fashion. This victory marked their eighth successive appearance in the finals.

The tournament has been dogged by controversy, and Germany made headlines even before the first kick was played when the starting XI covered their mouths in opposition to FIFA's ban on any national team skipper electing to don the "OneLove" armband.

When David Raum was carelessly hauled down in the box by Shichi Gonda, Hansi Flick's team seized the chance to tie the score. lkay Gündoan effectively converted the ensuing penalty. This match broke a lengthy trend after three goalless World Cup group stage matches in the preceding 24 hours. After a VAR review in first-half stoppage time, Germany's Kai Havertz once more had the ball in the back of the net, but his attempt was disallowed for offside.

Up until this time, Manuel Neuer had mostly remained a spectator. However, he showed class by making an amazing save to stop Junya Ito before Hiroki Sakai blasted his rebounded shot over the crossbar. The danger signs were there as Flick's team struggled to end the game, and Ritsu Dan's goal after some outstanding link-up play between Kaoru Mitoma and Takumi Minamino sent the Samurai Blue fans into raptures. Takuma Asano seized on a seemingly harmless long ball forward less than ten minutes later, firing a finish past Neuer to secure their first-ever victory over a dumbfounded Germany.

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