Osako brace pushes Japan past Oman

Osako brace pushes Japan past Oman

Japan defeated Oman 4-0 on Friday night in a Kirin Challenge Cup 2016 friendly at Kashima Stadium.

Kashima Antlers central midfielder Ryota Nagaki started in his senior debut, while FC Tokyo centre-back Yuichi Maruyama earned his first national team start.

Yokohama F. Marinos attacker and MEIJI YASUDA J1 League October MVP Manabu Saito also made his return to international play for the first time since a pre-2014 FIFA World Cup friendly against Zambia.

The Samurai Blue started slowly, but began to establish their pace 20 minutes into the match and finally broke the deadlock in the 31st minute when Koln’s Yuya Osako headed in a cross from Sevilla’s Hiroshi Kiyotake. 

The two would team up again to score another goal less than 10 minutes later to make it 2-0 at the half.

Kiyotake scored a goal of his own from the spot in the 64th minute after Stuttgart striker Takuma Asano drew a penalty, and Heerenveen’s Yuki Kobayashi netted his first international goal deep into additional time.

In total, six J.League players appeared in the match including goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa of Urawa Reds, midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi of Cerezo Osaka and substitute centre-back Masato Morishige from FC Tokyo.

Japan are next scheduled to face Saudi Arabia in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, November 15 at Saitama Stadium.

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