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World Cup highlights Japan stuns Germany, Spain rolls and Belgium holds off Canada

Japan's Takuma Asano scored the game-winning goal against Germany on Wednesday. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Japan’s upset of Germany in Group E was the big result Wednesday in Qatar, where World Cup group play continued. The Japanese scored two second-half goals to stun the 2014 champions, 2-1. Spain, the 2010 champion, avoided a similar fate against Costa Rica in the other Group E game, winning, 7-0. Croatia, a 2018 finalist, began the day with a scoreless draw with Morocco in the Group F opener, and Belgium concluded the slate with a 1-0 victory in the other Group F game against Canada, which was making its first World Cup appearance since 1986.

Japan upends Germany in Qatar, and another World Cup darling is born

Here’s what to know

  • Japan’s win over Germany puts the four-time champions on the defensive, especially with their next game against Spain looming Sunday. The Germans could be in danger of failing to advance to the knockout stage for the second straight World Cup.
  • Heavily favored Spain restored order against Costa Rica and Belgium did just enough to beat Canada.
  • The World Cup continues with four more games Thursday, when teams from Groups G and H, including Brazil and Portugal, will be the last to play their tournament openers. Find the full schedule and updated group standings here.
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Here's what to know:

Japan’s win over Germany puts the four-time champions on the defensive, especially with their next game against Spain looming Sunday. The Germans could be in danger of failing to advance to the knockout stage for the second straight World Cup.
Heavily favored Spain restored order against Costa Rica and Belgium did just enough to beat Canada.
The World Cup continues with four more games Thursday, when teams from Groups G and H, including Brazil and Portugal, will be the last to play their tournament openers. Find the full schedule and updated group standings here.

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World Cup in Qatar

The latest: The World Cup continues with Group G winner Brazil taking on Group H runner-up South Korea in a round-of-16 game in Doha, Qatar. The winner of this game will play Croatia in a quarterfinal on Friday after the Croatians beat Japan in penalty kicks earlier Monday. Follow our live coverage for the latest news, analysis and highlights.

USMNT: The U.S. men’s national team fell to the Netherlands, 3-1, on Saturday in the opening match of the round of 16. The United States has not won a World Cup knockout match since 2002, when it beat regional rival Mexico in the round of 16 in South Korea.

Knock out round schedule: A World Cup group stage filled with shocking upsets and dramatic turnarounds will now give way to a knockout round that promises more surprises.

Perspective: “The incremental progress was clear, but more than that, the players performed in a matter that indicates they are on a path to immense growth. There is a cohesion and energy about the United States that should inspire belief.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.

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