The German defence allowed Japan a string of chances on the counter and the result highlights the lack of progress since the last World Cup.
Junya Ito silenced the home crowd in the 11th minute, turning in a low cross at the far post. The hosts quickly bounced back, levelling in the 19th minute following a superb passing move and a left-footed finish from Leroy Sane.
Relief for the head coach, Hansi Flick, was short-lived as the visitors struck again just three minutes later. The Feyenoord forward Ayase Ueda wrong-footed the Germany keeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, after a neat move down the right wing.
Ter Stegen denied Japan another goal when Ueda pounced on a defensive error a little later to charge through, only to see his shot saved. Japan had two more quick chances in succession two minutes after the restart but Ter Stegen kept Germany in the game.
The Barcelona keeper was called on again in the 70th minute, first palming Asano’s close-range shot wide and then stopping Kaoru Mitoma’s rebound effort as all the pressure and chances went the way of the visitors.
Asano made amends in the 90th minute, slotting in to seal a repeat of their win over Germany at the 2022 World Cup. Tanaka then headed home a fourth in stoppage time as jeers and whistles rained from the stands.
The four-time world champion who crashed out of last year’s World Cup group stage after also losing to Japan, have now won just four of its last 17 international matches, putting coach Hansi Flick’s future in doubt.
The disappointment was echoed by his players, with captain Ilkay Gundogan saying “We are not good enough right now, it’s a completely bitter day, we all need to ask questions of ourselves”.
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