DAIZEN MAEDA is gunning for Costa Rica on Sunday and Spain a week today as World Cup shocktroops Japan continue their quest for glory in Qatar.

The Celtic striker saw an effort ruled out for offside before his international team-mates turned their encounter with Germany on its head.

Trailing to an Ilkay Gundogan penalty-kick, the Japanese stormed back to level through Ritsan Doan with 15 minutes to go.

PRIZE GUYS…Daizen Maeda joins in with matchwinner Takuma Asano after Japan’s sensational victory.

Seven minutes later, Takuma Asano, who had replaced Maeda just before the hour mark, thumped in the winner as he left Manuel Neuer helpless with an angled drive that caught the keeper out at his near post as it flashed into the roof of the net.

The Hoops speedster dedicated the triumph to the fans who missed an unforgettable occasion in the Middle East.

Maeda, speaking in a report in the Daily Record, said: “It was a great victory from a wonderful team. We had to deliver a win for all the Japanese people who couldn’t be here.

“To come from behind and beat Germany, it is wonderful. Our performance in the first-half, when we conceded just one goal, led to our comeback.

PICK IT OUT…Japan’s Takuma Asano fires the winner past Germany keeper Manuel Neuer.

“We supported each other and stood together on the pitch. I was able to stand on the pitch thanks to the support of various people before this moment.

“I am truly grateful to be part of this team.”

Maeda can now set his sights on Costa Rica who were thrashed 7-0 by the Spaniards where a victory could see four-time World Cup winners Germany’s hopes of progress in jeopardy.

Hansi Flick’s stunned players will meet Spain nine hours after the Japanese match.

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