Soccer: Japan handed confidence boost, World Cup clue in Brazil defeat


A 1-0 scoreline might not be a real reflection of the gulf in strength after Japan lost their Monday friendly at home to Brazil, especially with the shot count of 18-4 in the visitors' favor and none on target from the Samurai Blue. But the fact they came within 13 minutes of securing a draw against the world's top-ranked nation will do Japan no harm as they prepare for their toughest World Cup group stage to date with Germany and Spain waiting later this year in Qatar. There was an undeniable sense of excitement among the packed home faithful inside the National Stadium as Japan weathered the...

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