OHA, Qatar (AP) — 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 Gündogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. 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 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.
Not since Pelé in 1958 had someone as young as Gavi scored a goal at the World Cup.
The 18-year-old midfielder led the way Wednesday as Spain pulled off the biggest World Cup victory in its history, routing Costa Rica 7-0.
“I could never have imagined it,” said Gavi, who was named the game’s most valuable player. “I know I’m the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it’s different and I bring out my best.”
Pelé scored two goals in the 1958 final, when Brazil won its first World Cup by beating Sweden 5-2.
“I’m proud to be in that podium,” he said. “Not even in my dreams I had imagined this.”
Gavi only managed to score one goal on Wednesday, but his teammates added plenty of others.
Not long after Japan surprised Germany 2-1 in the other Group E match, Spain’s young squad avoided any chance of an upset with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres scoring a goal each in the first half. Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata added to the lead in the second half.
In addition to Gavi’s mark, Olmo’s goal was the 100th at World Cups for “La Roja,” which became the sixth nation to score more than 100 times in the tournament.
It was the first time Spain scored seven goals in a World Cup match, and the first time a team completed 1,000 passes in a 90-minute game at the tournament.
Thibaut Courtois saved an early penalty and Michy Batshuayi scored the only goal to give Belgium a 1-0 win over Canada at the World Cup on Wednesday, 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.