The Japan captain was forced to defend his team's goal for the last 15 minutes of the match against Hoffenheim, following Marwin Hitz's ejection for abusive languageWolfsburg's midfielder Makoto Hasebe became the first Japanese goalkeeper in the Bundesliga for almost 15 minutes of play.
Hasebe, who started at right-back in the away match at Hoffenheim, had switched to central midfield in the second half and contributed to his team's attacks.
Down 2-1 in the 80th minute, Wolfsburg fell further into crisis when goalkeeper Marwin Hitz received a straight red card for abusive language.
Having already used his side's three substitutions, manager Felix Magath seemingly motioned for defender Marco Russ to don the white goalkeeper uniform, but Russ declined.
After a short players' meeting it was Hasebe who picked up Hitz's uniform, although he required assistance from the official after he ran into trouble fastening the gloves.
Despite his initial chagrin, Hasebe showed little reluctance between the posts and calmly came out to handle a few balls outside the penalty area.
But in the 85th minute he was shown clearly to be out of his depth, as Hoffenheim midfielder Roberto Firmino beat the Japan national team captain in a one-on-one to notch his second goal of the day.
Hasebe didn't see any more danger as time wound down, but his teammates were unable to draw level and Hoffenheim won the match 3-1.
After the game Hasebe told reporters, "Someone had to fill in at goalkeeper. We had momentum [after getting back a goal in the 67th minute] and I felt like we could have drawn even around when I went into goal, so I'm disappointed in the result."
Magath complimented Hasebe, who claimed to have never practiced goalkeeping, for his willingness to step up: "I was for Hasebe, the Japanese are very disciplined and can play in every position."
You can watch the Japanese top flight LIVE on J-LeagueTV, including fixtures from the upcoming round next weekend