Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano rose to the occasion as Japan beat Germany thanks to their two late goals at the FIFA World Cup on Wednesday. While the "Samurai Blue" put on a brilliant team effort in the second half to snatch victory against their much-superior European opposition, their good fate had already been decided well in advance by an apparent psychic otter.
Taiyo, a small-clawed otter at Tokyo's Maxell Aqua Park, was tasked with dropping a miniature football in a bucket. He was given three buckets to choose from, with each representing the different possible results. The blue bucket was placed for a Japan win, the red one was for Germany, and the yellow bucket signified a draw.
The adorable little fellow wasted no time in dropping the football in the blue bucket that had a Japanese flag in it. Take a look:
— Populism Updates (@PopulismUpdates) November 23, 2022
And Taiyo crushed his assignment as the fortune-telling otter as Japan overcame Germany despite the odds and a first-half penalty from Ilkay Gundogan going against it.
The victory was sweeter for the Japanese as both goal-scorers play in the German Bundesliga; Doan is at SC Freiburg while Asano plays for VfL Bochum.
Going against the grain?
Japan and Germany were touted to have differing World Cup campaigns, especially since Spain is also in Group E along with them. However, after Wednesday's results things are looking different.
Japan has a great chance to make it to the Round of 16 since it next faces Costa Rica, against whom it is likely to win while Germany faces a tough Spain team next in a do-or-die match. Should Japan win and Spain beat Germany, the Asian powerhouse is all but guaranteed a spot in the next round while the Germans will face the prospect of consecutive first-round exits.Meanwhile, Spain thrashed Costa Rica 7-0 in the other Group E match late on Wednesday and will be brimming with confidence in the lead up to the Germany game.