Japan-based Trinidad and Tobago nationals are celebrating the nation’s historic and first-ever FIFA World Cup victory against Germany.
Japan produced the second major FIFA World Cup upset in Qatar when they clawed back from a goal down to steal a historic 2-1 victory over title-favourites Germany 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium, in their opening Group E clash, on Wednesday.
After Japanese Daizen Madea’s opening goal early in the first half was ruled out for offside, German attacking midfielder Ilkay Gundogan converted a penalty which Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda conceded, in the 33rd minute.
The score remained 1-0 at the half but at the resumption, Germany continued to dominate but Japan also pressed for the equalizer.
The Blue Samaurai were soon rewarded as Ritsu Doan slotted past veteran German custodian Manuel Neuer in the 75th minute to level the score.
Just eight minutes later, Takuma Asano shocked the globe when he rifled past Neuer, in a tight angle, to send them 2-1 up. So it would remain until the end of regulation and stoppage time.
The emotional win for Japan saw them pick up their first victory against Germany. Their record against the Germans is now one win, one loss and one draw. This was also Japan’s first time coming from behind to win a World Cup match.
In Japan, TT nationals celebrated the nation’s achievement on social media.
“An amazing game. An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. I’m extremely happy I get to be a part of it all,” Kosi Regis, from Yamagata City, Yamagata.
“I am beyond elated for Japan! I was cheering so hard from my apartment. To see all their hard work and that big turn-around in the second half was just amazing,” said Kassie Hernandez, who lives in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Najja Forbes from Yokohama City added, “As a Trini living in Japan I’m happy that Japan won.”
The shocking result follows Tuesday’s first major upset which saw Saudi Arabia down a Lionel Messi-led Argentina 2-1.
Both results broke the hearts of die-hard fans but were also welcomed by others, who say the unpredictability of the FIFA World Cup is what makes it one of, if not, the most viewed sporting competition globally.