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Japan defeat Guatemala in friendly

Japan have defeated Guatemala 2-1 in an international friendly overnight.

Played at the Saitama Stadium, the Blue Samurai scored first through Takayuki Morimoto who headed home in the 12th minute.

The lead was then doubled in the 20th minute when Keisuke Hodna linked up with Shinji Kagawa who played the ball through for Morimoto who finished for his second.

Guatemala hit back through Mario Rafael Rodriguez who fired home two minutes after Japan's second but the home side were able to hold out and record their first win under new boss Alberto Zaccheroni who admitted his players were tired after their clash with Paraguay on Saturday.

"Japan scored the first two goals and kept the lead in a very good style. They were able to avoid a risky play. I just felt the players were very tired after the second game in four days," said Zaccheroni.

"My biggest goal is the Asian Cup in January, but we will have two friendly games against Argentina and South Korea. I want to have a good game against them, because the Asian Cup will be a very tough competition," he added.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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