World Cup of shocks: Now Japan beat Germany in second stunning upset - after Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia

23 November 2022, 15:17 | Updated: 23 November 2022, 15:42

Germany suffered a shock defeat to Japan
Germany suffered a shock defeat to Japan. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Japan pulled off the second major upset of the Qatar World Cup today, beating four-time winners Germany in a dramatic comeback.

After Argentina suffered a humiliating defeat to Saudi Arabia, Japan won a famous 2-1 victory, leaving the German side with a challenge to escape their group.

Germany took the lead with a penalty in the 33rd minute but Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano both scored within eight minutes, giving them the historic win.

Germany are in a group with Costa Rica and Spain, leaving them with a challenge to reach the knockout stages.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia declared a public holiday after beating Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar in a 2-1 shock defeat for one of the tournament favourites.

The Saudis, ranked 51st in the world, beat Argentina with two phenomenal goals in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup football.

Argentina took the lead with a penalty from superstar Lionel Messi but Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari both struck home to seal the win for the underdogs.

Argentina were unbeaten in 36 games going into the match. It's the first time they've lost since July 2019.

After the game Messi blamed “five minutes of mistakes”.

He told reporters: "We knew they were a team who would play if we let them...They did not surprise us, we knew they could do that."

He told Todo Noticias: "In five minutes of mistakes that we made, we went 2-1 down and then it was really tough and we lost organization and started punting the ball."

The defeat for the Germans came after the side sent a defiant message with a team photo covering their mouths indicating they’ve been silenced by Fifa - as the row over OneLove armbands at the World Cup escalated.

The Germany team cover their mouths in their team photo in protest
The Germany team cover their mouths in their team photo in protest. Picture: Alamy

The Germany team were one of seven nations planning to wear the OneLove armbands in Qatar - a message of support and unity for the LGBTQ+ community.

England, Wales, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Denmark were all supposed to wear the armbands too, but were banned by Fifa, who threatened yellow cards for teams who wore them, as well as other ‘sanctions.’

After the protest, the German Football Association (DFB) released a statement supporting the team, saying: “To ban the armband is like banning our right to speak.”

But Germany's Interior Minister Nancy Fraser wore the banned armband instead. She disguised it underneath a pink blazer, which she took off as the game began.

Japan’s Takuma Asano celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game
Japan’s Takuma Asano celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game. Picture: Alamy

FIFA president Gianni Infantino was in the stands to watch the German side’s protest.

The DFB said on Twitter: “We wanted to use our captain's armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect.

“Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard.”

“[The gesture] wasn't about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn't the case. That's why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position.”

England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark all said they had been put under pressure by FIFA, and abandoned plans to wear the symbol in the conservative Muslim country, where homosexuality is illegal.

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