Japan 2, Germany 1
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals Wednesday to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup.
Ilkay Gündogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. But Doan, who plays for German team 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 German team Bochum, sprinted clear of Nico Schlotterbeck and beat Neuer from a narrow angle in the 83rd.
It was the first competitive meeting between the two nations.
Before the game, Germany’s players covered their mouths during the team photo in an apparent rebuke to FIFA following its decision to stop plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar.
Morocco 0, Croatia 0
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Morocco held 2018 finalist Croatia to a 0-0 draw at the World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday.
Morocco managed to stifle Croatia captain Luka Modric, who won the best player award at the last World Cup when he led his country to the final before losing to France.
The Moroccans didn’t just defend and troubled Croatia’s defense, including with a thumping second-half shot from Achraf Hakimi that goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic had to punch away with both fists.
Spain 7, Costa Rica 0
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Spain’s young squad got off to a high-scoring start at the World Cup, routing Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday.
Not long after Japan surprised Germany 2-1 in the other Group E match, Spain avoided any chance of an upset with Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Ferran Torres scoring a goal each in the first 31 minutes. Torres, Gavi, Carlos Soler and Álvaro Morata added to the lead in the second half.
Olmo’s goal was the 100th at World Cups for Spain, which became the sixth nation to score more than 100 times in the tournament.
With 18-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Pedri starting, Spain became the first European nation with two teenagers in the starting lineup of a World Cup match in 60 years, according to statistics platform Opta.
Gavi then became the youngest goal scorer at the World Cup since Pelé in the 1958 final, also according to Opta.