Yoshida wears the armband as Japan defeat Germany

Maya Yoshida’s Japan got off to a flier in Group E as they defeated Germany 2-1 in their World Cup opener. Schalke’s number four captained the side and played for the full 90 minutes at the Khalifa International Stadium. The 34-year-old combined with former Royal Blue Ko Itakura to form Japan’s defensive pair.

Ilkay Gündogan gave Germany the lead from the spot in the 33rd minute and the four-time winners led 1-0 at the break. Japan, however, staged a remarkable second half comeback, which started with Freiburg’s Ritsu Doan, who equalised with around a quarter of an hour remaining. VfL Bochum’s Takuma Asano then grabbed the winner in the 83rd minute to complete the turnaround.

Yoshida’s Japan are next in action on Sunday (27/11, 11:00 CET) against Costa Rica. They will then face Spain in their final group game the following Thursday (1/12, 20:00 CET). They will be hoping to be amongst the top two teams in Group E, who will progress into the last 16.

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