DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 23: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan competes for a header against the Germany defence during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Japan went into half-time of their game against Germany one-nil down and with no Takehiro Tomiyasu on the pitch.
Their manager reached for his subs, called on the Arsenal man and, well, now the rest is World Cup history.
Of course Tomiyasu didn’t get on the score sheet. That was left to Ritsu Doan and former Arsenal forward,
DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 23: Takuma Asano of Japan celebrates scoring their second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Asano arrived at Arsenal in 2016 for the sum of £3.5m but was never able to play for the first team as he was
unable to get a work permit.
Arsenal received just £1m, paid in instalments over three years, when they sold him to Partizan Belgrade in 2019.
J-League Sanfrecce Hiroshima forward Takuma Asano poses for the media in Hiroshima on July 4, 2016. (Photo read JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)
He now plays in Germany for VfL Bochum where he’s scored just one goal this season in seven games.
Takuma Asano explains his goal celebration
As for Tomiyasu, he
completed 90% of his passes, created a chance, made two clearances, three recoveries, and didn’t commit a single foul.
Interesting stat via Opta – Japan have won a World Cup game while having the second-lowest possession figure in history (26.2%) The record? South Korea’s 26% possession against Germany in 2018.
Next up for Germany is what many said would be the group decider – Spain.
Takuma Asano finally leaves Arsenal
As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to