Germany holds a 1-0 lead in the Group E opener of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday.

After Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda took down Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in the crease, Gundogan scored on the ensuing penalty kick to give Germany the lead in the 33rd minute.

Germany almost doubled up their lead in stoppage time when midfielder Kai Havertz cleaned up a Serge Gnabry rebound but the play was ruled offside on VAR.

Japan thought they scored the first goal of the match in the eighth minute when forward Daizen Maeda beat his defender and scored, but he was just a step offside negating the goal.

Germany had full control of the play with their possession time at 75 per cent and out shooting Japan 14-1 with five on net.