Things are looking good for Japan: a 4-0 win over Chile in midweek, only three points needed from three 2010 World Cup qualification matches in June and a promising debut from a teenage midfielder.
Japanese coach Takeshi Okada was delighted with the perfomance of Naoki Yamada on Wednesday.
The 18 year-old came off the bench
with six minutes remaining in the first half to replace the injured Keiji
The Urawa Reds man provided the
assist for Japan’s fourth.
"I didn't expect him to do so much in his debut
game," said Okadi.
"He made mistakes but instead of playing around in a
reserved manner, he challenged things. He played beautifully," Okada said.
has his sights set on South Africa.
"The World Cup has been my dream since I started
playing football," said Yamada. "I feel… it has come a bit closer to