Okazaki goal lifts Japan over Argentina

A month after routing defending World Cup champion Spain in a friendly, Argentina couldn't come up with the same kind of result against Japan Friday morning (U.S. time).

Shinji Okazaki pounced on a parried save by Argentine keeper Sergio Romero and slotted home the rebound in the 19th minute to lift the Samurai Blue to a 1-0 victory over a full-strength Argentina squad in Saitama, Japan.

The win was not only the first ever for Japan over Argentina, but it also marked a strong result in the debut for new Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni.

Here's Okazaki's goal, which came off a rebound from a 30-yard shot by Makoto Hasebe:

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23 Responses to Okazaki goal lifts Japan over Argentina

  1. Jose says:

    Why doesn’t mls try to get more chino

  2. Bob Dobalina says:

    Because 1) Chinese suck at football. Now if you are asking why they don’t get more Japanese. The J-League is better than MLS by far and they also get paid far, far more than in MLS.

  3. jonk says:

    Let’s hope Japan and Okazaki can replicate that kind of performance in the future.

  4. Aquaman says:

    YESS!!! I was waiting to let someone else make the DNA replication joke. You didn’t let me down.

  5. Onoda says:

    a great result. :)

  6. Justin O says:

    Meanwhile – Yura Movsissian has put Armenia ahead of Slovakia 1-0 in the first half.

  7. Onoda says:

    Japan and the J-League aren’t available in Fifa 11 because PES owns the rights which is unfortunate. But it’s understandable how the average person might be ignorant to Japanese soccer.

    btw, Jose, isn’t it Japon? Being Japanese myself, I’m sure that’s what you meant.

  8. CACuzcatlan says:

    I love the tifo in Japan. As soon as a goal is scored the giant flags go up. I’ve seen it in videos of Urawa Reds games too.

  9. Second City says:

    Let me get this straight…Japan beat Argentina?

    Did Rico, Findley & Klejstan attain Japanese citizenship?

  10. Lost in Space says:

    I’ve been very impressed with Japan’s national team the last 4+ years. They are a hard working squad which is has excelent conditioning and positional awareness, While improving greatly in the technical aspects of the game. They (like the US) lacked the creative spark…but have begun to develop that as well.

    Japan & South Korea have made amazing progress in their team/player development.

  11. Felix says:

    ARgentina has some crap goalkeepers right now.

  12. Vik says:

    Great job by Hasebe to get that strike on target. He was getting closed down pretty fast. Anyone kno what formation they used? I’m assuming Honda isn’t up top by himself anymore.

  13. john.q says:

    whats the internet without some racism? thanks Jose!

  14. LNG says:

    good result for Japan; I love Honda’s game

    I guess the appearance fees must be that good, because I still am puzzled about why a lot of these European-based teams play such far-flung friendlies that have to really take a toll on these players. Argentina in Japan, Uruguay in Indonesia, Spain (and Argentina) last month in Argentina, etc. The US team going to Cape Town next month is a brutal trip, but not as bad if its basically a Euro-based team. Still though, I’d rather play @ Morocco or Cote d’Ivoire @ Marseille; something like that.

  15. Jonathan says:

    I’m a big Japan fan and I’d argue the opposite is largely true — Japan has always had creative players but lacked in conditioning, awareness, and especially physicality.

    Japan’s best players have almost exclusively been creative/artistic types — Nakata, Ono, Nakamura, Endo, etc. On the other hand, Japan has never produced a center back or destructive midfielder of the same caliber.

  16. japan says:



    kagawa honda okazaki

    endo hasebe

    nagatomo konno kurihara uchida


  17. Tom says:

    Bring Back Maradona!

  18. Kenny_B says:

    Nice ball watching by the Argentine defenders. Great result for Japan. That is impressive.

  19. WonsanUnited says:

    I think it comes down to the conservative tactics that Okada put in place. It seemed to stifle the creativity of a lot of players. Remember Honda didn’t crack the starting line-up until only 6 months before the WC because his style didn’t fit into Okada’s system. Luckily Shunsuke Nakamura’s form dipped and allowed Honda in.

    I feel Hasebe has the ability to mold himself into a more destructive central midfielder and give Japan that bite it has lacked for a long time.

  20. bryan says:

    well done japan

  21. AdamFromMich says:

    This is one of the concerns that Tim Vickery (the BBC South American football correspondent) always brings up about Argentina. I listen to the BBC 5-Live World Football Phone-in podcast, and he’s mentioned several times that Argentina’s keeper development is far behind Brazil’s.

    To be fair to the current Argentina keeper, however, the original shot had a wicked curve to it and he almost blocked the second shot.

  22. Vik says:

    thanks japan! That’s a dynamic attacking 4 they got. Holding midfielders are great too, and the fullbacks are good in attack. Pretty scary team.

  23. Brian says:

    Smell like cabbage. Small hands