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Reserves rally Japan with two 2nd-half goals

by The Associated Press | November 24, 2022 at 2:20 a.m.
Japan’s Ritsu Doan celebrates after scoring a goal in Wednesday’s World Cup victory over Germany at Doha, Qatar. (AP/Luca Bruno)


DOHA, Qatar -- Another World Cup day, another World Cup shock.

Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals Wednesday to help Japan come from behind and upset Germany 2-1.

Both Doan and Asano play for German clubs.

"I believe it's a historic moment, a historic victory. If I think about the development of Japanese soccer, thinking of players, for them this was a big surprise," said Japan Coach Hajime Moriyasu, who had five Germany-based players in his starting lineup and three, including the scorers, on the bench.

"They're fighting in a very strong, tough, prestigious league. They've been building up their strength. In that context we believe that those divisions (Bundesliga and second division) have been contributing to the development of Japanese players," Moriyasu said. "I'm very grateful for that."

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

Then Asano sprinted clear of Nico Schlotterbeck and beat Neuer from a narrow angle in the 83rd minute.

It was the first competitive meeting between the two nations. They played two friendlies in the past, with Germany winning 3-0 in 2004 before a 2-2 draw in 2006.

Germany outplayed Japan for much of Wednesday's match and had 24 attempts on goal compared to Japan's 11. The Japanese had only 24% possession.

"It's brutally disappointing, not only for the players, but also the coaching team," Germany coach Hansi Flick said. "We deserved to go in front. It was more than deserved. Then you have to say that Japan gave us a lesson in efficiency."

SPAIN 7,

COSTA RICA 0

DOHA, Qatar -- Spain's young squad got off to a high-scoring start, routing Costa Rica.

Spain avoided any chance of an upset with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres scoring a goal each in the first 31 minutes. Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Alvaro Morata added to the lead in the second half.

Olmo's goal was the 100th at World Cups for Spain, which became the sixth nation to score more than 100 times in the tournament.

It was the first time Spain has scored seven goals in a World Cup match.

With 18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri starting, Spain became the first European nation with two teenagers in the starting lineup of a World Cup match in 60 years, according to statistics platform Opta.

BELGIUM 1,

CANADA 0

AL RAYYAN, Qatar -- Thibaut Courtois saved an early penalty and Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal to give Belgium a 1-0 win over Canada, spoiling the North American team's return to the tournament after 36 years.

The Canadians have yet to collect a point or even score a goal in four World Cup matches, which includes the three games from their debut in 1986.

Still, they outplayed second-ranked Belgium at times at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, with Alphonso Davies -- the star of Canada's team -- squandering the best chance when his penalty was blocked by Courtois.

With Eden Hazard ineffective and Kevin De Bruyne's passing unusually awry, Belgium often relied on the long ball from the back and that tactic led to the 44th-minute goal. Center back Toby Alderweireld split the defense with his pass and Batshuayi ran through to guide a left-footed finish into the far corner.

MOROCCO 0, CROATIA 0

AL KHOR, Qatar -- Morocco held 2018 finalist Croatia to a 0-0 draw in another strong performance by a team from an Arab country.

Morocco's promising performance came 24 hours after Saudi Arabia sparked the first World Cup in the Middle East into life by beating Lionel Messi's Argentina in one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.

Tunisia followed that up with a scoreless draw against European Championship semifinalist Denmark.

Morocco managed to stifle Croatia captain Luka Modric, who won the best player award at the last World Cup when he led his country to the final before losing to France.

Modric was announced as player of the match on Wednesday, a decision that was greeted by boos from Morocco fans who chanted and whirled scarves as they jumped up and down in the final minutes.

Paris Saint-Germain star Achraf Hakimi had the best chance for Morocco with a thumping second-half shot punched away with both fists by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

The 37-year-old Modric is playing in his fourth and final World Cup, where he's looking to add a Croatia title to his trophy-laden career with Real Madrid.

Modric had one of the best chances of the game when he blasted a shot just over the crossbar in first-half stoppage time. Croatia also went close when Dejan Lovran got a shot off at a corner and Sofyan Amrabat cleared off the line for Morocco.

  photo  Croatia's Luka Modric, left, and Morocco's Sofyan Amrabat vie for the ball during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
 
 
  photo  Croatia's Luka Modric (10) runs with the ball against Morocco's Selim Amallah (15) during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
 
 
  photo  Croatia's Mateo Kovacic jumps ov er Morocco's Azzedine Ounahi during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
 
 
  photo  Morocco's Noussair Mazraoui heads the ball during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
 
 
  photo  Morocco's Achraf Hakimi and Croatia's Borna Sosa , right, challenge for the ball during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
 
 
  photo  A Morocco supporter looks on prior to the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
 
 
  photo  A Croatia supporter looks on prior to the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
 
 
  photo  Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic (1) and Dejan Lovren, center, defend as Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri, right, attacks during the World Cup group F soccer match between Morocco and Croatia, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
 
 



 Gallery: World Cup in Qatar, 11-23-2022



Print Headline: Reserves rally Japan with two 2nd-half goals

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