FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP

Niedersachsenstadion, Hannover, Germany

Referee: 0

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Japan

  • Atsushi Yanagisawa 12'

1 - 2

FT

Mexico

  • Sinha 39'
  • Francisco Fonseca 64'

Japan 1-2 Mexico: Class act Zinha

HANOVER, Germany, June 16 (Reuters) - A touch of class from Brazilian-born forward Zinha helped Mexico come from behind to beat Japan 2-1 in their Group B opener at the Confederations Cup on Thursday.

Mexico, trailing to Atsushi Yanagisawa's 12th minute tap-in

and struggling to get through a packed midfield, got their

equaliser six minutes before the break when Zinha sent a

perfectly-flighted shot into the top right corner from over 20

metres.

Mexico dominated for the remainder of the game and clinched

victory when Jose Fonseca leapt and twisted in the air to guide

in a Luis Perez cross in the 64th minute.

World champions Brazil were set to line up against European

champions Greece in the second Group B game in Leipzig later on

Thursday.

The new 44,000 capacity stadium in Hanover was barely half

full as the match kicked off in hazy evening sun.

Those who bought tickets for a foretaste of next year's

World Cup were rewarded with a game full of bustle, as Mexico

pushed forward and Japan looked to hit on the break.

Zinha's pass out wide gave space for Jaime Lozano to fire in

a cross that struck Fonseca and flashed wide inside the first

minute.

Japan, with their qualification for the World Cup already

secure, gradually gained composure before moving ahead with only

their second attack.

Akira Kaji caught the Mexican defence on their heels as he

raced down the right and pulled the ball back for Yanagisawa to

nip in ahead of Ricardo Osorio and convert for a simple opener.

Jared Borgetti, Mexico's leading scorer, almost supplied the

equaliser with a point-blank header in the 27th minute but

Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi produced a fine save.

Mexico created few other clear chances before Zinha changed

the game, rolling the ball forward to tee himself up well

outside the box and producing a perfect strike.

Japan struggled to make much headway in the second half. A

flashing drive from substitute Junichi Inamoto was the closest

they came before Fonseca's acrobatic leap gave Mexico a win they

fully deserved.

Scoring Summary

  • Japan
  • Mexico
(39') Sinha
(64') Francisco Fonseca

Match Stats

  • Japan
  • Mexico
6(1) Shots (on goal) 13(6)
11 Fouls 3
3 Corner kicks 5
1 Offsides 2
0% Time of Possession 0%
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 1

Teams

  • Japan
  • Mexico
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Akira Kaji (90')