Japan remember Matsuda in victory

Samurai Blue beat South Korea 3-0 in the week after ex-player Matsuda died as Koreans try to move on from match fixing.

Japan overpowered fierce rivals South Korea 3-0 in an emotionally charged friendly on Wednesday less than a week after former international Naoki Matsuda died after collapsing in training.

Following a minute’s silence in memory of Matsuda before kickoff in Sapporo, midfielder Shinji Kagawa put the Blue Samurai in front with a sharp right-foot finish after 34 minutes.
 
Keisuke Honda made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second half, clinically firing a left-foot shot just inside the post before Kagawa grabbed his second from point-blank range moments later following a flowing move from Japan.

Japan’s players, unbeaten in 11 matches under Italian Alberto Zaccheroni and wearing black armbands, pointed skywards in tribute to Matsuda after each goal in a rare win over the Koreans.
 
Both sides were using the game as a warm-up for the third round of Asian 2014 World Cup qualifiers which begin on September 2.

South Korea officials meanwhile had hoped the match would turn attention away from a domestic match-fixing scandal.

An investigation has already netted dozens of current and former players in the K-league.

Harry Fawcett has the story from Seoul.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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