Wednesday, 23rd May 2012
Japan cruise past Azerbaijan in World Cup warm-ups
Japan made sure they were in fine form for the conclusion of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, beating Azerbaijan in a warm-up game on Wednesday (May 23rd).
The Samurai Blue controlled the game throughout, strolling to a comfortable 2-0 score line at a canter, with goals from Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki.
Kagawa was once again in fine form, having recently won the German Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, who claimed their second consecutive league title this season.
The 23-year-old attacking midfield has enjoyed a sterling year, stepping up for his club in the absence of key personnel and attracting strong interest from none other than Manchester United.
After the game, he said: "It was great as everything went the way as I had imagined.
"But we could not score goals on scoring chances. In that sense, we have to improve towards our next game."
Japan's coach Alberto Zaccheroni said that the team wanted to make sure they were in the right frame of mind for World Cup qualifying, after losing two matches in the previous qualifying round.
Written by Mark Smith
Related news stories:
Homare Sawa wins the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (10th January 2012)
Club World Cup ends in victory for Corinthians (20th December 2012)
Japanese Chelsea fans greet players at Yokohoma Starbucks (11th December 2012)
Japan bids to host Rugby World Cup (8th May 2009)
Japan bids for rugby World Cup (1st October 2008)