Soccer News: Japan’s winning goal is one of the easiest in World Cup history, Gundogan claims.

    Japan’s winning goal in Wednesday’s surprise victory over Germany was one of the easiest goals scored in a World Cup, according to Ilkay Gundogan.

    Gündoğan appeared to put Germany on the road to victory when he converted a first-half penalty, but Japan hit back sensationally after half-time thanks to two Bundesliga strikers.

    Freiburg’s Ritsu Doan equalized after Manuel Neuer pushed a Takumi Minamino cross in his path before Bochum winger Takuma Asano cheered the Japanese fans with a powerful finish close to the post.

    Asano’s victory was the result of some dismal defense against Niklas Sule, who inexplicably played the 28-year-old on the side of Ko Itakura’s long pass, and Gundogan can’t recall a simpler goal scored on the biggest stage.

    “We made it too easy for Japan, especially with the second goal. I don’t know if an easier goal has ever been scored at the World Cup,” Gundogan told reporters.

    “This cannot be. This is the World Cup. We dominated the game for the most part, Manu. [Neuer] saved us once in the second half. That’s why we have it.

    “We had incredible opportunities ahead, but we didn’t score the second goal. The way the goals came about was too simple.

    “There was a lack of confidence that we could hold the ball and move, that we could offer ourselves.

    “In the second half we relied on long passes and the short passes we played were lost quickly and easily. You felt like not everyone wanted the ball.”

    In addition to dealing a blow to the hopes of the country they trade in, Doan and Asano became the first pair of substitutes to score in the same World Cup game against Germany.

    Wednesday’s game also marked Japan’s first victory over Die Mannschaft, with Samurai Blue recording one loss and one draw in their previous two meetings.

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