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FIFA World Cup 2022: Japanese fans clean up Qatar stadium after clash with Germany win hearts, see reactions here | Football news

Japanese fans saw the stadium cleaned again after their football team defeated Germany 2-1 in their first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Something similar happened on Sunday (November 20) after the opening match of the World Cup between hosts Qatar and Ecuador, when Japanese fans decided to stay behind after the game to help clear the stands. The video went viral where the Japanese fans emptied the stands and they were at it again, winning millions of hearts from people around the world.

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Coming to the clash, another World Cup day, another World Cup shock. Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals on Wednesday to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup. Both Doan and Asano play for German clubs.

Ilkay Gundogan had put four-time champions Germany ahead with a penalty kick in the first half. But Doan, who plays for Freiburg, pounced on a rebound to equalize in the 76th minute after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked a shot from Takumi Minamino. Then Asano, who plays for Bochum, sprinted away from Nico Schlotterbeck to beat Neuer from a close angle in the 83rd minute of the first competitive meeting between the two countries.

The match was played a day after Argentina’s 2–1 defeat to Saudi Arabia. Before Wednesday’s game, the German players covered their mouths during the team photo in a clear rebuke to FIFA after its decision to end plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host country Qatar.

Nancy Faeser, Germany’s sports minister, attended the match at the Khalifa International Stadium and sat next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino while wearing the same OneLove bracelet that FIFA had banned with dire consequences.

It was only the third time that Germany had lost the opening game of the tournament after defeats to Algeria in 1982 and Mexico in 2018. In Germany’s other World Cup openers, the team had won 13 games and drawn four.

Germany beat Japan for much of the game with 24 attempts on goal compared to Japan’s 11. Despite giving away the penalty, Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda made a series of saves.

Germany will face Spain on Sunday, while Japan will take on Costa Rica. Germany’s buildup has been accompanied by protests and political statements over Qatar’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers and members of the LGBTQ community.

Germany played in the World Cup for the first time since their shock group stage exit as defending champions in 2018, while Japan is entering the World Cup for the seventh time in a row and is looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. (with PTI inputs)

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