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Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Saturday, 10 October 2009 13:11 UK

Japan 2-0 Scotland

By David McDaid
BBC Scotland in Yokohama

Charlie Adam shows his disappointment as his shot his deflected over the crossbar
Charlie Adam struggled to control the midfield for Scotland in Yokohama

George Burley's new-look Scotland team struggled to gel as they slipped to defeat against Japan in their friendly.

Craig Gordon saved well from Keisuke Honda's free-kick as the Scots gave the Japan goalkeeper a quiet evening.

With six minutes to go, Christophe Berra capped a poor night for his team by deflecting a dangerous cross from Yuichi Komano into his own net.

And, in added time, Japan got their second when Honda drove the ball low past goalkeeper Gordon.

In a match that was almost one-way traffic, Honda had Gordon worried with an early effort on goal from around 25 yards that whistled past the right-hand post.

And the Japanese should have gone ahead in the 16th-minute. But, thankfully for Scotland, Kengo Nakamura scuffed his shot from six yards.

Burley's makeshift starting line-up, featuring four debutants after a host of injury call-offs, struggled to create any chances for Lee Miller up front.

On a number of occasions, the side were guilty of conceding possession cheaply.

Japan looked sharper and more threatening and, after one of several pacey breaks down the flank, the home crowd thought Nakamura had given them the lead when, in fact, his thunderous strike hit the side netting.

Stephen McManus came to Scotland's rescue shortly before half-time when the captain for the day threw himself in front of Nakamura's shot from 10 yards.

But the Japanese may have had a good call for a penalty as the ball struck the Celtic man's hand in the process.

Yuichi Komano (centre) celebrates Japan's opening goal
Komano (centre) created the opening goal with a cross into the box

Miller will be frustrated with his 45 minutes as he made way for Steven Fletcher, while Watford midfielder Don Cowie became Scotland's fifth debutant of the evening, replacing Ross Wallace.

And Gordon had to be sharp to palm away Honda's wicked dipping free-kick, with Atsuto Uchida smashing the rebound a few feet past from a tight angle.

The small section of Scotland fans, meanwhile, had to wait more than an hour for their team's first effort, although Adam's deflected shot did not trouble goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Stephen Hughes, the final debutant, presented Fletcher with an opportunity with a neat through ball, but the Burnley striker was unable to take it round the advancing goalkeeper.

Japan were eventually rewarded for their efforts when Berra deflected Komano's fantastic cross into his own net.

And, in added time, Honda slammed in the second with a low drive to seal a deserved victory.


Japan: Kawashima, Iwamasa, Uchida, Abe, Hashimoto, Inamoto, Konno, Kengo Nakamura, Ishikawa, Honda, Maeda.
Subs: Yamamoto, Komano, Tanaka, Endo, Matsui, Shunsuke Nakamura, Sato, Okubo, Tokunaga, Iwashita, Morimoto.

Scotland: Gordon, Berra, Caldwell, McManus, Whittaker, Lee Wallace, Adam, Dorrans, Ross Wallace, Conway, Miller.
Subs: Marshall, Hughes, Fletcher, Barr, Riordan, Cowie, Langfield.

Referee: Sang Woo Kim (Korea Republic)



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see also
Friendly was worthwhile - Burley
10 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Japan v Scotland pictures
10 Oct 09 |  Scotland
Japan eye top table
09 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Scots squad in mid-air incident
07 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Fox earns first Scotland call-up
01 Oct 09 |  Internationals


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