Japan 2-0 United States: Kamada and Mitoma fire Samurai Blue to deserved win

By Sports Desk September 23, 2022

Japan stepped up their World Cup preparations with a deserved 2-0 friendly win over the United States on Friday, as Gregg Berhalter's team produced a flat performance in Dusseldorf, Germany.

With Chelsea's Christian Pulisic left out after sustaining a minor injury in training, the USA struggled from the first whistle and fell behind to Daichi Kamada's side-footed finish.

Berhalter's team were indebted to Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner for keeping the game alive after the break, but he could do nothing to prevent Kaoru Mitoma picking his spot to seal Japan's victory late on.

Turner got down to his right to deny Kamada with a reflex save 13 minutes in, but was beaten by the Eintracht Frankfurt man when he tucked a neat first-time finish into the bottom-right corner after 24 minutes.

The offside flag looked set to deny Japan, but the goal was awarded following a VAR review after Walker Zimmerman was shown to have played Kamada onside as he latched onto Hidemasa Morita's pass.

Turner was forced to divert another Kamada effort away from the bottom-right corner after 65 minutes, and made a fine reflex save to tip Ritsu Doan's strike over the crossbar 10 minutes later.

Brenden Aaronson's wild effort was the closest the USA came to a response, and Mitoma made Japan's win safe by curling into the bottom-right corner from long range with two minutes remaining, as Turner's resistance finally waned.

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