Japan’s goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda starred for his side in the Group E opener winner against Germany with a clutch of crucial saves to keep his side in the game.
The 33-year-old shot-stopper, who plays for Shimizu S-Pulse, kept German attackers at bay for most of the game. His standout moment came in the 71st minute when he pulled off a string of four saves to keep the score 1-0.
Moments later Japan equalised through Ritsu Duan and then took the lead through Takuma Asano who rifled a fiery shot past Manuel Neuer in the near post.
Gonda, who made his national team debut in 2010, replaced Eiji Kawashima as Japan’s goalkeeper in 2019 and has sealed his spot ever since. Kawashima was the Asian nation’s first-choice shot-stopper for the last three World Cups.
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