Japan blank South Korea 2-0 in pre-Olympic Under-23 friendly
OSAKA (Japan): Japan blanked rivals South Korea 2-0 in an under-23 friendly here Saturday in a warm-up match ahead of the final round of the Asian qualifying round for the Athens Olympics.
After a scoreless first half, Kyoto Purple Sanga midfielder Daisuke Matsui opened broke the deadlock for Japan by flicking in a loose ball from close range in the 56th minute.
Japanese goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi stopped a shot from Kim Dong-Jin in the 79th minute and Hiroshima midfielder Koji Morisaki put Japan ahead 2-0 by blasting in a shot from the edge of the area with nine minutes to go.
Japan are drawn in Asian Group B with Bahrain, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. They will take on Bahrain in Abu Dhabi in their opening qualifier on March 1. The South Koreans are due to battle China in Seoul on March 3 in the Group A that also includes Malaysia and Iran. —AFP