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Japan into men's football semi-finals

india Updated: Aug 04, 2012 21:25 IST
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Japan stayed on course for an Olympic football double as their men's team joined the women's side in reaching the tournament semi-finals following a 3-0 win over 10-man Egypt on Saturday.

Goals from Kensuke Nagai, captain Maya Yoshida and Yuki Otsu took Japan through against an Egypt side who played more than half the match a man down after defender Saadeldin Saad was sent off in the 41st minute for denying Japan forward Manabu Saito a goal-scoring opportunity.

Nagai gave Japan a 14th-minute lead, shooting into an empty net after Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawi collided with one of his own defenders in trying to deal with a through ball.

Egypt, despite being down to 10 men, came close to an equaliser when Mohamed El Neny's dipping shot was well-saved by Japan keeper Shuichi Gonda.

However, shortly afterwards, Japan put the result beyond doubt with two goals in the space of five minutes.

The unmarked Yoshida's 78th minute header made it 2-0 before another header, from Otsu, completed the scoring.

Afterwards, a delighted Yoshida said: "The match was perfect. I had chances to score in the group stage and, finally, I managed to score today, so I am very satisfied.

"We have to take the medal, that's all. That's what I say to the people in Japan," he added.

Delighted Japan coach Takashi Sekizuka said: "Being able to win in the quarter-finals is brilliant, magnificent.

"We still have a long way to go so I can't feel proud of my players yet. We prepare game by game so we just have the semi-final on our minds now."

Saturday's other quarter-final see Mexico play Senegal at London's Wembley Stadium, Brazil take on Honduras in Newcastle and hosts Great Britain up against South Korea at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.