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KOMANO, FUKUNISHI LIMIT GERMANY WHILE JAPAN FORCED DRAW

INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

That was a fun game to watch. Japanese striker Naohiro Takahara's double wake up us in front of TV in Japan early morning. But the Sumurai Blues was forced to draw with host Germany at Leverkusen's BayArena in the warm-up game for June's FIFA World Cup. Under Germany's dominance since starting the game, it was Yuichi Komano and Takashi Fukunishi who contributed to change it before leading Takahara's opening goal at 12 minutes of the 2nd half.

Komano, who was replaced for injured Akira Kaji midway through the 1st, went on challenging forward the goal to create the chance to score. At last he made German left side Bastian Schweinsteiger reduce attacking drives seen at the 1st. Fukunishi, whom Brazilian Coach Zico put on there as a defensive midfielder by the side of Hidetoshi Nakata, limited the performances of German captain Michael Ballack during the game. The German skipper failed to score many times under the situations of the spot-kick and was likely recieving the yellow cards due to charge to Fukunishi. In the match, Japan's threat was not the breakthrough from the central but high balls from the side.

Germany's first scoring drive was Schweinsteiger's early cross near the halfway line to striker Miroslav Klose, who shook off Japanease defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto. And the eqaulizer was produced from the free-kick near the right corner to Schweinsteiger, who headed in escaping from the defence.

Japan had exposed the weakness of the defence for high balls that every opposites against Japan think and hadn't been able to deny it this night. But Japan is now more hopeful than the host country. I will expect Japan's leaping in coming Group-F matches against Australia, Croatia and Brazil.

match result:

FIFA International Friendly
at Leverkusen, Germany (30 May)

Japan 2-2 Germany
(1-0)57' TAKAHARA
(2-0)65' TAKAHARA
(2-1)76' KLOSE
(2-2)80' SCHWEINSTEIGER

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