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International friendly: Japan 2 Canada 1

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Mar 2013

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Mike Havenaar scored the winner as Japan recorded a 2-1 win over Canada in an international friendly in Doha on Friday.

The decisive moment came 74 minutes in as Havenaar got on the end of a ball from Yuichi Komano.

The striker scuffed his shot but made enough contact to see it go into the bottom right corner for what was the winner at Khalifa International Stadium.

That followed Shinji Okazaki’s ninth-minute opener as he chipped Milan Borjan after the Canadian goalkeeper botched a clearance attempt.

On 58 minutes, Canada levelled from a corner as Will Johnson whipped in a ball which Marcus Haber stooped to convert for his first senior international goal.

Just moments after Okazaki’s opener, Japan nearly made it two as the goalscorer crossed to Ryoichi Maeda, but Borjan managed to get down to gather the quickly taken shot.

On 20 minutes, Yasuhito Endo went close to giving Japan a 2-0 lead.

The veteran midfielder’s curling free-kick from just outside the area crashed off the post before hitting Borjan and going out of play.

Canada’s only half-chance of the first half came 10 minutes later, as Johnson, Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Atiba Hutchinson linked up outside the area.

But Hutchinson’s ball into the area just evaded the head of an unmarked Haber.

In the 38th minute, Johnson attempted a shot from just outside the area which dipped too late and flew over the crossbar.

At the start of the second half, substitute Havenaar found himself released on the counter-attack, but his attempted chip went wide.

Haber’s equaliser gave Canada hope of a surprise win as he headed in the leveller two minutes before the hour-mark.

Borjan nearly got himself in trouble in the 64th minute as he came out to intercept a ball but was beaten to it by Gotoku Sakai, who rounded him well but failed to make the most of the open goal from a tight angle.

Havenaar put Japan ahead before Hutchinson went close for Canada, forcing goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima into a save, as Alberto Zaccheroni’s men held on for the win.

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