Japan earn Paraguay revenge
Zaccheroni in stands for victory
Last Updated: September 4, 2010 7:13pm
Kagawa: Scored only goal
Japan beat Paraguay 1-0 to avenge their World Cup defeat against the South Americans in Yokohama.
New Blue Samarai boss Alberto Zaccheroni was in the stands as Shinji Kagawa's 64th-minute strike secured a narrow victory, sending Japan fans home happy after their second round defeat in South Africa.
Paraguay had beaten Japan on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes in the World Cup and Saturday's encounter had a similar feel until Kagawa broke the deadlock.
Defender Yuichi Komano, whose missed penalty cost Japan a place in the World Cup quarter-finals, earned the biggest cheer of the night when he came off the bench in the 89th minute.
Paraguay almost equalised three minutes after Kagawa's strike, Luca Barrios - Kagawa's Dortmund team mate - superbly denied by Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima after breaking clear.
Japan play Guatemala in Osaka on Tuesday when Zaccheroni will also be watching from the stands as he waits for his work permit to come through.
He said: "The movement was excellent. I saw Japan at the World Cup and they were as good as I expected. Let's hope it continues when I coach them."