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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Japan see off Kiwis
Japan 3-0 New Zealand

Hidetoshi Nakata (left) and Shunsuke Nakamura celebrate a Japan goal
Nakata (left) and Nakamura celebrate another Japan goal
Japan enjoyed a comfortable start to their Confederations Cup campaign as they thrashed New Zealand.

Reggina's Shunsuke Nakamura scored twice and captain Hidetoshi Nakata of Parma also got on the scoresheet.

New Zealand are still without a win in the eight-nation tournament, having lost all three games in their previous appearance in 1999.

Japan coach Zico was delighted with the ease of his side's win and is looking forward to the rest of the tournament.

"We could have scored one or maybe two more goals in the dying minutes of the game but I'm happy with the performance of my players," Zico said.

"There was not much pressure and it looked like a training match which is a good omen for the next two games."

Japan take on title-holders France in St Etienne on Friday, hoping to get revenge for their 1-0 defeat in the 2001 final.


New Zealand: Mike Utting; Duncan Oughton, Chris Zoricich, Ryan Nelsen, Gerard Davis, Ivan Vicelich, Simon Elliot, Aaran Lines (Noah Hickey 70), Mark Burton (Chris Jackson 73), Vaughan Coveny, Chris Killen (Chris Bouckenhooghe 79).

Japan: Seigo Narazaki; Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Keisuke Tsuboi, Nobuhisa Yamada, Junichi Inamoto, Alessandro Santos, Yasuhito Endo, Shunsuke Nakamura, Hidetoshi Nakata, Naohiro Takahara, Yoshito Okubo.




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