The Germans were big favourites heading into the clash at the Khalifa International Stadium and looked to be in control in the first half, taking the lead through an Ilkay Gundogan penalty.
But Japan, much like Saudi Arabia in their victory over Argentina, showed courage and determination in spades and fought back in the second half.
Goals from Ritsu Doan in the 75th minute and Takuma Asano in the 83rd were enough to secure an almighty comeback for the Asian nation, who will no doubt be ecstatic to have secured such a monumental victory in their opening match.
From the German team’s perspective, though, the result will only add to the air of pessimism in the nation that already surrounds this year’s World Cup and its team’s chances of success in it.
The spotlight will be fixed firmly on the players after the poor performance – although, in the case of Antonio Rudiger, he’s going viral for an entirely different reason.
Rudiger’s wild running action returns vs Japan
The Real Madrid star has gone viral on several occasions before thanks to his weird and wonderful method of sprinting.
And as Germany took on Japan in their opening World Cup game in Group E, Rudiger had fans in stitches once again as he sprinted full tilt to beat a Japanese attacker to the ball.
In a video shared to Twitter, the German centre-half can be seen racing Asano, Japan’s right-winger, to the ball.
It seemed like a pretty close race initially, but then Rudiger activated his inner 100m sprinter and delighted fans in the process.
View the clip below…
What’s next in Group E?
To put it plainly, tasting defeat against Japan was nothing short of disaster for the four-time World Champions.
They’ll take on…