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JAPAN'S BRIGHT FREE KICKS

INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

June's world campaigns of Japan, FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 and FIFA World Youth Netherlands 2005 were over. In both tournaments, free kicks of Japanese players attracted the world.

Koki Mizuno, who is now playing with JEF United Chiba of Japan, made two free kicks successful in Netherlands where he found Hirayama's head in meeting host country and carried directly it into the Benin's net. At the Round-of-16-match against Morocco he got the first participation from the start and made chances for Japan as right wing, however he was replaced in the second half without chance of free kick before Morocco sank Japan by the last-minutes-goal. Our youth squad need more experiences and skills.

Shunsuke Nakamura, who played with Reggina of Italy last season, worked all time of the three games in Germany where he hit a free kick's ball on the post to connect fast-reacting Oguro's foot to tie the game against Brazil, who allowed him to fire waking-up-Japan's-supporters long-range shot at the first half. Japan's number 10, who was taken much time to defend Mexico's players at the first match, also gave substitute Oguro's winning goal against Greece of the 2nd match.

Forwards to get goals are needed for Japan, traditionally, I think. It may be simple to think that more goals you get by next year to start the WC, more possibilities you have to become strikers of Japan squad, regardless of playing in or out of J-League. They are sure to become the help of the success for Japan in FIFA World Cup Germany 2006.

match results:

FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005
Group B at Hanover (16 Jun)
Japan 1-2 Mexico

Group B at Frankfurt (19 Jun)
Japan 1-0 Greece

Group B at Cologne (22 Jun)
Japan 2-2 Brazil

FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005
Group A at Kerkrade (15 Jun)
Japan 1-1 Benin

Group A at Kerkrade (18 Jun)
Japan 1-1 Australia

Round of 16 at Enschede (21 Jun)
Japan 0-1 Morocco

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