December 1 update: Japan were on the outside looking after going down early against Spain and Germany getting a goal to go up on Costa Rica, but the Asian side woke up in the second half and got two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead. Japan then held Spain scoreless in the second half to get back to the round of 16 for a second consecutive World Cup. Japan last advanced to the round of 16 in 2018 at the World Cup in Russia.
This is shaping up to be a pretty exciting World Cup. After Argentina fell to Saudi Arabia early Tuesday morning, we’ve got another huge upset in Group E. Japan was able to come from behind to beat Germany 2-1 in the Group Stage, setting up for some dramatics. Japan scored twice past the 75th minute, the deciding goal coming from Takuma Asano in the 82nd. Japan would hold on to win and now leads the group with a chance to advance to the Round of 16. We take a look at their history in the World Cup moving forward.
Japan has fared pretty well in the World Cup. The Blue Samurai have qualified in every tournament since 1998. Japan has advanced out of the Group Stage in three of the past six tournaments and are 5-5-11 overall in the World Cup. In 2018, Japan defeated Colombia and drew with Senegal before losing to Belgium in the knockout stage. Japan also drew with Uruguay in the Round of 16 in 2010 and lost to Turkey in the second round in 2002.
In their upset over Germany on Wednesday morning, Japan was dominated in possession with Germany having a nearly 75 percent advantage. The Japanese were also outshot 25-12 with shots on goal going 9-4. Ilkay Gundogan scored for Germany on a penalty shot in the 33rd minute to take a 1-0 lead.