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Monday, 15th October 2012
In Sports,

Japan celebrates momentous win over France

The Japanese national football team is celebrating after claiming a historic 1-0 win over European giants France, which helped them to avenge their previous 5-0 defeat to Les Bleus in March 2001.

Japan's win was the first ever against the 1998 World Cup champions in six games, following four defeats and one draw.

Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa scored the winning goal in the friendly encounter laster Friday (October 12th).

The midfielder was not the only star of the show, though, with goalkeeper and Standard Liege no.1 Eiji Kawashima also keeping the hosts at bay, with one save from Franck Ribery proving particularly memorable.

Playing at the Stade de France, the hosts remained largely in control throughout the match, however with two minutes left in play, Yuto Nagatomo crossed to forward Kagawa who then scored the winning goal.

"It's a very, very good result that will give the players confidence, but our objective remains the 2014 World Cup," said coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who helped Japan win in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.

Currently six points clear of second-placed Jordan in Asian qualifying Group B for the 2014 World Cup, Japan will play Brazil in Poland next Tuesday.

Related news stories:
Air France to recommence Tokyo flights (8th April 2011)
Japan take on France in opening game (9th September 2011)