Aside from the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil, Japan have been on a really good run of form in recent months. They continued their good work in the friendly match against Latvia, which pleased the manager Alberto Zaccheroni.
The manager was also extremely delighted with the performance of the Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki, who managed to score two goals in the match. His opening goal in the 41st minute helped Japan go into the half-time break with a lead. Zaccheroni has said that it was much better performance from his players in the second half, and it reflected in the two goals scored during this period.
Honda doubled the advantage for Japan in the 60th minute, while Okazaki completed his brace a minute later to give the score a comprehensive look. The result gives Japan plenty of confidence going into the friendly match against Canada next month. Zaccheroni has praised the striker Okazaki by saying that he showed his true quality, while he praised the performance of his players who have not played together for the last two months. Zaccheroni is confident that such a repeat performance in the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches will ensure that the team qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“We played much better in the second half. We hadn’t played for almost two months so it took us some time to adjust but we were much better after the break and if we continue to play like that we’ll be in good shape,” said the 59-year-old Italian after the match. He will be hoping that the players maintain the same performance ahead of the 2013 Confederations cup that will take place in Brazil. Japan have been handed a tough draw for this competition, but they will be hoping that such a good form carries them through.