Japan’s players admitted that the previous day’s unexpected victory over Argentina motivated Wednesday’s remarkable victory over Germany.
Japan came from behind in the second half to defeat 2014 World Cup champions Germany, who lost their second World Cup opener in a row. Goals from Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano turned the game around in Doha, and Japan’s players revealed the source of their inspiration after the game.
Japan player’s reactions
“This moment was unbelievable for the team and for me,” said Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma. “We watched Saudi Arabia against Argentina. They won that game and we thought we could have a great game here. It inspired me and the team a lot.”
Real Sociedad winger Takefua Kubo added: “We were going for our training session and we watched it on the team coach – their victory inspired us! We are happy for [Saudi Arabia] and I heard there is a public holiday there today so maybe today, it happens in Japan!”
The result briefly put Japan atop Group E but Spain’s 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica put an end to it. Hajime Moriyasu’s team is still second on goal difference, faring far better than their opponents Germany, who need to win their next game against La Roja to be in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Japan World Cup stats
For the first time in their history, Japan won a World Cup game in which they conceded first (drew two, lost seven before Wednesday).
Moriyasu’s team will look to make it two wins in a row when they face Costa Rica on Sunday.