Japan took a shocking 2-1 lead over Germany late in the second half of their World Cup match on Wednesday, a game that began with a protest by Germany’s entire starting lineup over armband.
Takuma Asano picked up a long ball in the 84th minute, and all by himself in the German box deked a defender and slotted home a shot from close range.
Ritsu Doan had poked in a loose ball to bring Japan level at 1-1, with 75 minutes played.
Takumi Minamino sent in a wicked cross that German keeper, Manuel Neuer, parried. But Doan was in the right place and easily scored. Both Minamino and Doan had just been subbed into the game.
Earlier, a penalty kick by Ilkay Gündogan had given Germany a 1-0 after Japan goalkeeper, Shuichi Gonda, brought down David Raum, leading to Gündogan’s penalty in the 33rd minute.
Meanwhile, the players, who started for Germany in their opening match at the World Cup on Wednesday, covered their mouths during the traditional pre-game team photograph before facing Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday in protest of a FIFA decision that kept their captain from wearing a rainbow-colored armband in the match as part of a social justice campaign.
Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, had prevented Germany and several other European team captains from wearing armbands promoting gay rights by threatening them with yellow cards.
The campaign was meant to raise awareness of marginalised groups in the host country, Qatar, which criminalises homosexual conduct in the Gulf state.