FIFA World Cup: How clever substitutions helped Japan stun Germany

The move started with a pass from Kauro Mitoma, which crossed the German left channel, before finally finding Takumi Minamino. The AS Monaco player fired in a shot that looked like a cross, but Manuel Neuer was well on his way to save it. However, his save went only to Ritsu Doan, who fired the ball past the keeper from six yards.

It was a dramatic move in the 75th minute that stunned Germany, who were leading 1-0 until then. More than a goal or a direct pass from Mitamo that started the journey, it was a series of constructive events that attracted and changed the game. Strictly speaking, these are representatives of Hajime Moriyasu. The first to enter in the 46th minute was Takehiro Tomiyasu. Mitoma was followed by 11 minutes with Takuma Asano. Those changes were almost rewarded when Asano almost buried a right-wing cross from Junya Ito. Japan, who started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, moved to an attacking 3-4-3 formation and raised the threat of Mitoma in 1v1 situations while using their speed to work well on the wings . This was evident in the artillery attack of the 61st unit, which involved the mayors of Mitoma and Asano, the latter missed the opportunity.

As Japan slowly clawed their way back into the game, Moriyasu brought on Doan in the 71st minute while Minamino was the last to be brought on three minutes later. With all the substitutions introduced and their system changing in the 74th minute, Japan immediately converted by scoring an equalizer in the 75th minute.

All three players involved in the opening goal were brought to the bench in the second half - Minamino was out of the game for less than a minute. Asano, who plays in the German Bundesliga, was lucky for the third time in the 83rd minute. He controlled a long, floating ball on the right side, beat Nico Scholtterbeck who tried to chase it on goal and made a powerful right foot that beat Neuer at the near post. It sent the Japanese fans into a frenzy along with the rest of the team, who rushed onto the pitch to celebrate with the goal scorer.

Moriyasu stayed on the boat, smiling. It was, after all, his brave ambassadors who gathered a famous victory for Japan. A result that allowed his side to reach the round of 16, where he could be taking the pain of the World Cup in Germany.