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Japan brushes aside Finland in friendly

STRIKER Shinji Okazaki scored two clinical first-half goals to spark Japan to a 5-1 home win over Finland in a World Cup qualifying warm-up yesterday.

The relative ease of its victory will give Japan a timely boost a week before it faces Australia, which tops their group in the final round of Asian 2010 qualifiers. Okazaki fired Japan in front on 15 minutes with a fierce left-foot volley after springing Finland's offside trap. Finland midfielder Tim Sparv smashed a long-range shot against the bar before Okazaki broke clear again, this time finishing with a low right-foot drive. Shinji Kagawa stabbed home Japan's third on the stroke of halftime under the gaze of Australia coach Pim Verbeek, sitting alone on a cold evening at Tokyo's National Stadium.


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