(Reuters) – Daichi Kamada and Kaoru Mitoma were on target as Japan continued their preparations for November’s World Cup in Qatar with a 2-0 win over the United States in Dusseldorf on Friday.
Kamada’s 24th minute strike was given after VAR overruled the onfield officials who believed the Eintracht Frankfurt forward was offside while Mitoma added the second for Hajime Moriyasu’s side with two minutes remaining.
Jesus Ferreira’s early header had sailed over the bar from Sergino Dest’s cross in an encouraging start for the United States, but that was to prove a rare sight of goal for Gregg Berhalter’s side.
Kamada was denied by Matt Turner in the 13th minute before giving the Samurai Blue the lead 11 minutes later when he calmly slotted home after Hidemasa Morita’s lay-off.
The goal had initially been ruled out for offside before it was confirmed by VAR that Kamada had been in line with the defence as he received the ball.
Arsenal goalkeeper Turner ensured the United States were not on the end of a heavier defeat with a string of fine saves in the second half.
The 28-year-old kept out a 55th minute effort from Junya Ito before denying Kamada a second of the game 10 minutes later. He then tipped substitute winger Ritsu Doan’s shot over the bar.
But there was nothing Turner could do to prevent Mitoma from adding Japan’s second in the 88th minute.
The livewire Brighton and Hove Albion winger scythed through the defence with ease having picked up the ball on the left touchline before bending a trademark low right-foot shot into the bottom corner.
The Japanese will be appearing at their seventh consecutive World Cup in November and have been drawn to face Germany, Spain and Costa Rica in the group phase while the United States meet England, Iran and Wales.
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Pritha Sarkar)