Errors cost hosts Japan in World Cup send-off match vs Ghana
Japan’s World Cup send-off match against Ghana did not go to plan as they lost 2-0 in Yokohama on Wednesday to a side that failed to qualify for the finals in Russia.
The game had been touted as preparation for Japan’s Group H clash with Senegal, but it will likely give coach Akira Nishino cause for concern due to the nature of the goals conceded in their final match at home before their campaign starts on June 19.
Japan remained on level terms for just nine minutes, as Tomoaki Makino was penalised on the edge of the area and Thomas Partey found the bottom-right corner with his free-kick – goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima failing to keep it out despite getting his hands to it.
Keisuke Honda went close to restoring parity just after the half-hour mark, but Richard Ofori blocked the effort with his leg.
And Ghana took full advantage early in the second half – debutant Emmanuel Boateng slotting home a penalty after a dreadful mix-up between Kawashima and Makoto Hasebe resulted in the Levante attacker being brought down.
The Black Stars ultimately had little difficulty holding on, leaving Japan hoping to produce an improvement in their next World Cup warm-up games against Switzerland and Paraguay.