Just as Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national team, won their first Olympic soccer match against Canada this week, so too has the Japanese men’s team. Spain, one of the favorite picks for a medal this year, was unable to score against Japan, with the final tally coming up 1-0. Maya Yoshida, the Japanese captain, commented that the win was very important for building confidence, and their victory felt well-earned.
Spain was seen to start off strong on Thursday’s Olympic soccer game, with good plays and quick passing, but it just wasn’t enough to work their way through Japan’s strong defenses. Japanese forward Kensuke Nagai also caused problems for the Spaniards, make many trips behind their defenders and splitting their focus. Nagai’s strategy paid off though, as he scored the game’s only goal just before the 60 minute mark.
Japan coach Takashi Sekizuka kept a modest attitude toward the victory, only admitting that the team was pleased with its results. However it can’t be denied that the win against Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners, is easily seen as one of Japan’s greatest. The next men’s soccer games will be played on Sunday, July 29th, with Japan facing Morocco, and Spain against Honduras. Nadeshiko Japan will face off against Sweden tomorrow, at 12 PM local London time.[via Daily Herald]