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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Japan End World Cup Prep on High Note with 4-2 Win over Paraguay

INNSBRUCK, Austria Ė Japan defeated Paraguay 4-2 on Tuesday in the Asian sideís final tune-up ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Takashi Inui had two goals to lead Japan to their first win in six matches, dominating a Paraguay squad who failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The match marked the international farewell of Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar, who played the first 15 minutes of the match in his 119th appearance with the national team and managed to keep a clean sheet.

Paraguay scored first thanks to a great individual effort by Oscar Romero, who beat Japan keeper Masaaki Higashiguchi with a powerful half-volley in the 31st minute.

The Japanese pulled level in the 50th minute on the first of Inuiís two goals. The Real Betis striker got his second 12 minutes later, beating Alfredo Aguilar with a low, hard shot.

Japanís advantage grew to 3-1 in the 76th minute, when Paraguayís Federico Santander put the ball in his own net while trying to clear.

Ricardo Ortiz brought the Paraguayans within one with a tremendous strike from distance in the 89th minute, seconds before Shinji Kagawa added a fourth goal for Japan.

Japanís World Cup opener is set for June 19 against Colombia, to be followed by contests with Poland and Senegal.

 

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