Monday, 1st June 2009
Japan ease past Belgium to claim Kirin Cup
The Japanese football team registered their second 4-0 victory in week to clinch the Kirin Cup.
Japan followed up their earlier rout of Chile with an equally comprehensive defeat of Belgium, with two goals in each half securing the maximum six points from the three-team tournament.
Yuto Nagatomo and Kengo Nakamura were on target in the first 45 minutes, with second-half goals from Shinji Okazaki and substitute Kisho Yano putting the finish on a convincing win.
The match represented a perfect warmup for Japan's key World Cup qualifier with Uzbekistan, with Celtic playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura managing a 45-minute runout after shaking off a groin injury.
Japan coach Takeshi Okada spoke of his contentment with his team's performance, but was keen to look ahead to the Uzbekistan clash, which could see Japan book their place at the 2010 World Cup with a victory.
If they qualify, the Japan team will be looking to improve upon their performance in the 2006 World Cup, in which they were eliminated at the group stage.
Written by Jehan Ranasinghe