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Sports News of Thursday, 31 May 2018


Kwesi Appiah praises Japan despite defeat to Ghana

Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah believes the Black Stars' 2-0 victory over Japan in an international friendly in Yokohama on Wednesday will help the Blue Samurai in their groundwork for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

Goals from Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Teye Partey and Levante striker Emmanuel Boateng were enough to hand the Black Stars their first victory over the hosts in almost a decade.

“Tactically, the Japanese team were not a bad side whenever they had the ball,” Appiah said.

“They moved very well up front but I think there were some lapses with their defending. I think it’s a very good exercise for Japan in the sense that I don’t believe in winning games before the World Cup.

“It’s important that you lose sometimes because you learn from your mistakes. You do it now and then the coach can learn from it and perform very well at the World Cup,” he added.

Japan new coach Akira Nishino has endured a disappointing first match in charge and admits that he must solve vulnerabilities in the team before the World Cup kicks off.

“Some things worked and some things didn’t, and the things that didn’t led to this result,” said Nishino.

“I was able to try out a lot of things and I was able to look at a lot of players, but we were looking to win the game and the fact that we didn’t is disappointing.

“As time went on things picked up, but we didn’t start the game well. We weren’t all on the same page but this is a good test for us and we will work on our shortcomings,” he added.

Japan have been paired with Senegal, Poland and Columbia in Group H.