Punchless USA silenced by Japan in penultimate World Cup tuning


Daichi Kamada scored after Weston McKennie’s giveaway in the 24th minute, Kaoru Mitoma scored a goal in the 88th and Japan defeated a lackluster and injury-free United States 2-0 in the next-to-last World Cup in Germany on Friday in Düsseldorf. pre workout.

The Americans did not get a single shot on target, played a dismal first half and showed only slightly more initiative after four substitutions at halftime. They have one win, five losses and four draws in ten road games since beating Northern Ireland in March 2021, and only one goal in their last five away games.

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American star Christian Pulisic did not dress due to an undisclosed injury. The 14th-ranked Americans were already without Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson and Zack Steffen, and Miles Robinson will miss the World Cup due to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

A series of defensive failures plagued the US in the first half, putting pressure on goalkeeper Matt Turner, who has played just one game for Arsenal this season. Turner made some diving saves in the second half, over Junya Ito in the 55th and Kamada in the 65th.

Kamada scored after McKennie got a pass from Tyler Adams and busted a backpass. Hiroki Sakai ran up the ball and passed it to Ito. He passed the ball to an open Kamada, who defeated Turner from about 12 yards to the far post for his sixth international goal.

No 24 Japan was initially called for offside, but the goal was awarded after a video review found Kamada being played onside by Walker Zimmerman.

Mitoma scored his fifth international goal by flipping Reggie Cannon in the second half and bending the ball around Zimmerman to beat Turner to the far post with a right footed shot from just inside the penalty area.

Jesús Ferreira got the best chance for the USA in the seventh minute, heading an open header over the crossbar from close range from a cross by Sergiño Dest.

The US has one last demonstration before the World Cup, Tuesday against 53rd-ranked Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain. The USSF said it was too early to determine if Pulisic will be available.

Back in the World Cup after missing out on the 2018 tournament, the Americans open on November 21 in Qatar against Wales 19, play against England in fifth place four days later and close the first round against Iran on November 29.

Japan, preparing for their seventh consecutive World Cup, opens on November 23 against No. 11 Germany, meets the 34th Costa Rica four days later and closes the group match against No. 6 Spain on December 1.

Players yelling at each other could be heard during a match played in front of a crowd of fewer than 10,000 spectators at the 54,600-capacity Merkur Spiel-Arena.

Gio Reyna and Dest have started despite not having played 90 minute matches for their clubs this season. Reyna, fit after a leg injury that ruined his 2021-22 season, hadn’t started for the US in a year. He wore the No. 21 shirt of his father, former US captain Claudio Reyna.

Japan won eight first-half possession in the US defensive third, the most in a half against the Americans since 2010, according to Opta Sports.

Josh Sargent, Jordan Morris, Cannon and Mark McKenzie came in to start the second half in place of Ferreira, Reyna, Dest and Aaron Long.

Japan will play against No. 44 Ecuador in Dusseldorf on Tuesday and against Canada in 43rd place on November 17 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


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