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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Japan 0-0 Scotland
The victorious Scots celebrate at the end of the draw with Japan
The victorious Scots celebrate at the end of the draw with Japan
Scotland battled to a goalless draw against host nation Japan to claim the Kirin Cup.

After starting well, Scotland were on the back foot for much of the game.

Japan went close on a number of occasions, with Akira Kaji striking the post with a vicious drive from distance midway through the first half.

Shinji Ono was denied by Neil Alexander and Mitsuo Ogasawara's shot was cleared off the line by Gary Caldwell as Scotland held on.

Japan showed an early willingness to shoot from well outside the box when Yasuhito Endo let fly from almost 30 yards, though his shot was slightly too high.

Lee McCulloch had Scotland's first opportunity after 18 minutes, but he sent a back-post header wide of goal.

Tatsuhiko Kubo and Russell Anderson contest a high ball
Tatsuhiko Kubo and Russell Anderson contest a high ball

Akira Kaji was next to try his luck from long-range, but fortune was on the Scots' side as his fierce effort rebounded off the post to safety.

Mitsuo Ogasawara tested Neil Alexander twice within a minute, first shooting straight at the keeper and then forcing Alexander into a diving save to his right.

As the half wore on, Japan began to exert more pressure on the Scotland defence and Gary Caldwell did well to divert a Tatsuhiko Kubo shot wide.

Shortly before the interval, Shinji Ono produced a fantastic piece of skill to carve open the Scotland back-line, only to shoot straight at Alexander and the rebound was deflected wide.

Japan's dominance continued after the break and moments after Alexander had spilled a long-range free kick, Caldwell was in the right place to clear the ball off the line after Yasuhito Endo had cut the ball back into Ogasawara's path.

As is customary in such friendly matches, the second half was littered by substitutions and two of Scotland's replacements - Kris Boyd and Gavin Rae - combined for the latter to shoot straight into the keeper's arms.

At the other end, Anderson made a timely interception to deny Keiji Tamada a shot on goal and in the final minute of regulation time Alexander touched Alex's curling free kick round the post.

Japan: Kawaguchi, Miyamoto, Santos, Nakazawa (Tsuboi 50), Kaji, Fukunishi, Ogasawara, Ono, Endo (Sato 72), Kubo (Maki 62), Tamada.

Subs Not Used: Doi, Narazaki, Tanaka, Komano, Moniwa, Motoyama, Abe, Hasebe.

Booked: Miyamoto, Santos.

Scotland: Alexander, Anderson, Gary Caldwell, Murty (McNamee 80), Naysmith (Murray 46), Weir, Fletcher, McCulloch (Lee Miller 70), Severin (Rae 46), Teale (Burke 59), McFadden (Boyd 59).

Subs Not Used: Turner, Smith, Steven Caldwell.

Booked: Gary Caldwell, McFadden, McCulloch, Fletcher, Boyd.

Att: 58,648

Ref: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez (Spain).

Smith pleased with Japanese trip
13 May 06 |  Internationals
Clockwatch: Japan 0-0 Scotland
13 May 06 |  Internationals


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