Ten Arsenal stars from across the globe are in Qatar taking part in the 2022 World Cup, a tournament that has provided many upsets within only the first few group stage matches. The likes of Bukayo Saka and Matt Turner have already featured for their countries, with Takehiro Tomiyasu following them up shortly after.
The Japanese international didn’t start against 2014 World champions Germany, still making a return from an injury that kept him out for a period with the Gunners. The defender has been a stalwart in the backline for Japan as of late, with his absence from the line-up being a huge blow.
The Samurai Blue went a goal down to Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half penalty after a foul in the box from goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda led to the spot kick. Germany failed to kill the game off though, with Tomiyasu coming off the bench in the second half to help his side out.
Just 15 minutes from time Ritsu Doan equalised as he tapped in a rebound after a save from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was pushed his way. While it would have likely been a decent result for Japan, they continued to push for a winner and they earned just that in the final 10 minutes.
Gonda’s long kick found Takuma Asano, a former Arsenal player who signed under Arsene Wenger, but failed to make a single appearance due to work permit issues. Now plying his trade for Bundesliga side VFL Bochum, Asano’s impact from the bench was huge, latching onto the long pass to take him through on goal before smashing an effort past Neuer.
It was then a case of defending the lead late on for Japan, with Tomiyasu going down at one point in a slight injury scare on his return to action. He managed to see out the game, but come full-time celebrations, the 24-year-old collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.
There will be hopes that Tomiyasu recovers well enough to be available for his nation’s next clash against Costa Rica on Sunday, where they could edge closer to booking their place in the round of 16.