Japan sneak 1-0 win against Ecuador
Japan left it late as they scored in the 84th minute through home-based Hisato Sato to beat Ecuador 1-0 in Oita Japan. Coach Zico’s gamble paid off when he sent on both Sato and Seiichiro Maki in the 76th minute to add impetus to the Japanese attack.
Midfielder Mitsuo Ogasawara took advantage of poor defending by Ecuador to control the ball and feed Alex on the left wing and the Brazilian-born defender crossed low into the centre for Sato to nicely steer the ball past Mora from close range.
Coach Zico was also happy with his defensive unit and in particular sang praises of goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi who came to Japan’s rescue in the 32nd minute when he tipped a ferocious 30-metre drive from midfielder Edwin Tenorio onto the crossbar.
The match should give coach Zico a few more options on the home based players who played in this match, since his European based players wouldn’t be available until just before the World Cup
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