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Played
March 5, 2014 10:40 AM GMT
National Olympic Stadium — Tōkyō (Tokyo)
Referee:‬ A. Milliner‎
Attendance:‬ 47670‎
 
Chris Wood 39′
7′ (PG) Shinji Kagawa
Chris Wood 80′
 
 

Japan 4-2 New Zealand: Kagawa on target in six-goal thriller

The Samurai Blue stepped up their World Cup preparations with a good win over the All Whites, with Stuttgart's Shinji Okazaki grabbing a double

By Matthew Rogerson

Kagawa Shinji, Japan New Zealand Friendly 03052014
Getty

A flurry of early goals, amid some questionable defending, helped Japan to a 4-2 friendly win over New Zealand in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The visitors were in action for the first time since missing out on a place in the World Cup and subsequently seeing coach Ricki Herbert depart from his role. 

However, caretaker coach Neil Emblen saw his side collapse under early pressure from the hosts as Japan moved four goals ahead inside 17 minutes. 

Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring after just four minutes, Shinji Kagawa doubled the lead from the penalty spot and Masato Morishige got in on the act with his first goal for Japan. 

Okazaki then completed his double, but New Zealand demonstrated character in responding through Chris Wood, who struck late in each half to at least reduce the margin of his side's defeat.

Following their 9-3 loss over two legs to Mexico in November, New Zealand's hopes of beginning 2014 with a win were almost immediately dented when Okazaki took advantage of a lack of communication in the New Zealand backline to prod home.

Kagawa, who provided the assist for the opener, then converted a spot-kick after being felled in the area, before Keisuke Honda's free-kick from the right was headed home by Morishige.

A shellshocked New Zealand looked to reorganise but were hit with another hammer blow as Honda backheeled Kagawa's pass into the path of Okazaki, who finished well - although visiting goalkeeper Glen Moss will feel he could have done better.

The one bright spot for Emblen will be the spirit his side showed to pull two goals back - Leicester City striker Wood first threatening with a shot that hit the side-netting before curling a finish past Eiji Kawashima from a tight angle six minutes before the break. 

Wood's second - a volley from inside the area 10 minutes from time - mattered little as Japan's preparations for the World Cup in Brazil got off to a positive start.



Japan

-
Eiji Kawashima
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
3
Maya Yoshida
Defender
 - 
55
Yuto Nagatomo
Defender
 - 
4
Hiroki Sakai
Defender
46′
 - 
6
Toshihiro Aoyama
Midfielder
46′
 - 
6
Hotaru Yamaguchi
Midfielder
46′
 - 
23
 - 
10
Keisuke Honda
Midfielder
11′ 17′
 - 
26
Shinji Kagawa
Midfielder
4′ 7′ 79′
 - 
34
Yuya Osako
Striker
81′
 - 

New Zealand

 - 
20
Glen Moss
Goalkeeper
 - 
22
 - 
-
 - 
2
 - 
-
Storm Roux
Defender
69′
 - 
-
 - 
28
Ryan Thomas
Midfielder
82′
 - 
2
Tim Payne
Striker
 - 
20
Chris Wood
Striker
 - 
23
 - 
-
Tyler Boyd
Striker

Substitutes

20
Shuichi Gonda
Goalkeeper
 - 
21
 - 
2
 - 
19
 - 
5
 - 
7
Hajime Hosogai
Midfielder
46′
 - 
13
 - 
7
Yasuhito Endō
Midfielder
46′
 - 
9
 - 
11
 - 
11
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
-
Jacob Spoonley
Goalkeeper
 - 
18
Ben Sigmund
Defender
58′
 - 
15
 - 
-
Chris James
Midfielder
58′
 - 
-
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
A. Pulido A. Pulido
Striker
Tigres
4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
Striker
San Jose Earthquakes
3 0
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 0
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
Striker
Wolfsburg
2 0