Japan stuns protesting Germany with ‘brutally disappointing’ comeback win

Important points
  • Germany’s players have covered their mouths for diversity and tolerance
  • German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore the armband as she chatted with the football administrator.
Late goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano gave Japan an incredible 2-1 comeback win over Germany On Wednesday.
The four-time champions looked set to win with a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan but paid a fatal price for missed chances.

The shock result was a repeat of their 2018 World Cup nightmare when, as defending champions, they lost their opening game to Mexico and were doomed to group stage elimination after another defeat by South Korea.

WCup Germany Japan Football

Japan celebrates after a goal by Takuma Asano during the World Cup group E soccer match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. Source: AAP / AP

“It’s a huge disappointment and frustrating,” said Germany captain Manuel Neuer.

“We made the opponent strong. Last will made the difference. Japan believed they could win while we thought we could defend the lead.”

‘time to dance’

Coach Hansi Flick said: “It’s brutally disappointing. We are angry that we lost the game because we had the chances. We have to look ahead. We have a chance of six points.”
“I think this is a historic moment, a historic win,” said Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu.

Japan’s Maya Yoshida said: “That’s the beauty of football, sometimes it happens! Now the spotlight is on our side, it’s time to dance.”

Ahead of the game against Japan, the German players lined up with their hands over their mouths for a pre-match team photo amid the dispute over FIFA’s threat of sanctions over the OneLove armband.

All German players took part in the gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch before kick-off after world football’s governing body FIFA threatened sanctions against seven European teams if they wore the armband as a symbol of diversity and tolerance.

Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, sitting in the stands next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, wore the armband as she chatted with the football official.
She previously criticized FIFA, saying the threat of sanctions was a mistake and not acceptable behavior.

“It’s not okay how associations are put under pressure,” Ms. Faeser said while attending a DFB event in Doha before the game.

“In this day and age, it’s incomprehensible that FIFA doesn’t want people to speak out openly about tolerance and against discrimination. That doesn’t fit our time and isn’t appropriate for people.”

A statement by the German Football Association (DFB) states: “With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example for the values ​​that we represent in the German national team: diversity and mutual respect. Together with other nations we wanted to hear our voice.

“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should go without saying, but it isn’t. That is why this message is so important to us. Denying us an armband.” is the same as denying us a vote. We stand by our position.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

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