TOKYO (Reuters) – The penalty of Captain Tomas Rincon, nine minutes from full-time, saved a 1-1 draw in a friendly match against Japan in Oita on Friday, after Hiroki Sakai reached his first international goal for hosts.
Japan came into the match for the last three victories of the three under the new coach, Hajime Moriyasu, but they could not maintain their full record as they continue preparations for the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates starting on 5 January.
In the first game in the first half, in which both teams wanted to attack, it was the best chance for visiting Newcastle United's players Solomon Rondon after 11 minutes.
Rondon is missed by Japan's Daniel Schmidt for defense of Takehiro Tomiyasu to get back and crash the ball with a sliding move.
After scoring Shoya Nakajima missed two good opportunities for Japan, which offered five minutes before the half-time when the scoring was opened.
Sakai, who came in late, scored with a bare shot and scored a goal that Rafael Romo from Venezuela could not focus on.
This was the first goal for Olympique de Marseille in 49 competitions for his country.
The Japanese team was traditionally built on a solid defensive basis, but this is the most aggressive belief under Moriyasu.
Nakajima and Salzburg Takumi Minamino, who scored four times in six appearances for Samurai Blue, threatened through the solo striker Yuya Osako.
However, Nakajima and Osaka were taken away in the second half, the pace was down, and Venezuela was thrown into the game.
They were rewarded for their perseverance when Sakai walked away from the hero to the villain, replacing Luis Gonzalez with the clumsy challenge of fining 10 minutes of full time.
Rincon quietly canceled the penalty by sending the German goalkeeper Schmidt in the wrong way.
There she was familiar with the drama when the captain of Japan Maya Yoshida thought he had won his head at the time of the injury, just to get off properly from the offside.
The Japanese team arrived late in the Oita Cup due to the heavy traffic in the stadium and there were many empty seats for the start of the match, as the fans were also detained.
After the game, Moriyasu said that he needed a police escort to get the coach to the stadium before kickoff.
This is a potentially worrying sign for the Rugby World Cup next year, with Oita hosting six games, including two quarters.
Oita Dome's 40,000 seats are almost 10 kilometers outside the city center.
Moriyasu has one final match to prepare for the Asian Cup, which met on Tuesday with Kyrgyzstan.
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant, Editing by Toby Davis)