Japan v Latvia Friendly Result (Kirin Challenge Cup 2013)

The Samurai Blue eased to victory against very poor opposition in the shape of Latvia, but it wasn’t until the 41st minute that they took the lead. Shinji Okazaki stretched to divert Atsuto Uchida’s wayward shot into the net via the upright to give Japan a 1-0 advantage at half-time.

Two further goals were added in the space of teo minutes in the second period, both created by Shinji Kagawa. First on 59 minutes Keisuke Honda bent the ball beyond the reach of Vanins in the Latvia goal, before Okazaki doubled his tally and scored his 31st overall in 59 appearances for the national team, rounding Vanins and rolling the ball into the empty net. Okazaki now sits just seven goals behind Hiromi Hara in the all-time goal scoring table for his country, and continuing at only a marginally improved goals per game ratio could see him reach Hara in third position before the close of the year.

With such bare resistance offered by their opponents it took little effort on the Samurai Blues’ part to dismantle the visitors, but they can be satisfied with a reasonable performance and in having achieved the expected and required comfortable win.

Japan Japan
Okazaki 41′, 61′
Honda 60′
3 Latvia 5050 Latvia 0

Japan: Kawashima; Uchida (Gotoku Sakai, 62′), Konno (Inoha, 66′), Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Hosogai (Endo, 45′); Kiyotake (Maeda, 45′), Honda (Inui, 62′), Kagawa; Okazaki (Otsu, 81′)
Substitutes: Hayashi, Gonda; Inoha, Gotoku Sakai, Mizumoto, Hiroki Sakai; Endo, Takahashi; Inui, Otsu; Maeda

Latvia: Vanins; Bulvītis, Ivanovs, Gorkšs, Rugins; Laizāns (Žigajevs, 65′), Cauna (Sinelnikovs, 88′), Višnakovs (Zjuzins, 65′), Fertovs; Kamešs (Maksimenko, 72′), Gauračs (Verpakovskis, 71′)
Substitutes: Doroševs, Mālins, Maksimenko, Klava, Kurakins, Smirnovs, Žigajevs, Zjuzins, Sinelnikovs, Verpakovskis

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J.League, Samurai Blue and Nadeshiko Fixtures (Football Japan Fixtures Calendar 2013)

A full, comprehensive fixtures calendar for the forthcoming Japanese football season, including kick-off times and stadium addresses, and which covers J.League Divisions 1 and 2, the Yamazaki Nabisco and Emperor’s Cups, the AFC Champions League matches in which Japanese sides are participating, and senior Men’s and Women’s internationals can be accessed at the following links:

XML iCal HTML

iCal (.ics file type) is compatible with most calendar software including Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes and Yahoo Calendar. It will also work with Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. Any updates made to the calendar as the season progresses will automatically be reflected on your device.

To add the Calendar to a Google Calendar, click “Other Calendars”, then “Add by URL”. Copy and paste the iCal link provided above into the field marked “URL”, then click “Add Calendar”. The Football Japan calendar will be added to your list of calendars. A summary of these instructions on the Google website can be found here.

To add the Calendar to an iOS device, tap the “Settings” icon. Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”, and then “Add Account…”. Then press “Other”, and “Add Subscribed Calendar”. Copy and paste the iCal link from above into the “Server” field, and press “Next”. Your device will then attempt to verify the subscription, and once successful, simply choose “Save” to complete the subscription. However, if you have any other Apple devices it is highly recommended that you first subscribe via Calendar or iCal on OS X, before adding the calendar on iOS. See page 67 of the current iPad User Guide here for further information if required.

Details on how to subscribe to the calendar using Microsoft Outlook can be found here, for Lotus Notes users a video guide has been produced here, and details on subscriptions via Yahoo Calendar are available here.

If you wish to see Japan Football League or L.League fixtures added to the calendar, or if you have any feedback or suggestions, please send me an email or contact me on Twitter at