Thursday, February 5, 2009

Japan defeats Finland in light paced friendly

Leading into next weeks important World Cup qualifying match against Australia, Japan defeated a young Finnish side 5-1 in a friendly.

Following the match Blue Samurai manager Takeshi Okada said:

"This is a test match. But Australia are a stronger team than Finland and we still have some more days to improve.

"First of all, we must eliminate their chances off set-piece plays. Hopefully, we can play our best football next week."

Ruining the party, Finland used the friendly as a chance introduce nine new players and only two regulars, so this was effectively an easy going workout.

Shimizu S-Pulse striker Shinji Okazaki added two goals both on long counters, the first coming from Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers) fifteen minutes in and the second coming two minutes pass the half hour from Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale). Nineteen year old Shinji Kagawa of Cerezo Osaka made it 3-0 before the break with a great bit of ball handling and finishing.

Roni Porokara scored five minutes after the restart before Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F. Marinos) scoring just past the hours and . Substitute Michihiro Yasuda (Gamba Osaka) adding the fifth goal with four minutes left.