Fukuoka - Japan made a winning start to their Group C campaign in the third round of AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics when the “Young Samurai” squad defeated a hard-working Malaysia 2-0 at the Tosu Stadium Wednesday (21/9/11).
For Japan, the win must come as good news after the nation was hit b y Typhoon Roke a day earlier.
But the hosts, coached by Takashi Sekizuka were not disturbed nor interested in the weather, rather they stuck to what they were supposed to do - displaying their superior skills against Malaysia.
Hiroshi Kiyotake, who scored twice in Cerezo Osaka's 4-3 AFC Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, provided the assist for Keigo Higashi to score Japan's opener in the tenth minute.
Japan dominated the first-half and might have went into the break with a more commanding lead then the Omiya Ardija's early strike had it not been for the superb form of Malaysia keeper and captain Khairul Fahmi.
The Kelantan custodian was finally beaten for a second time in the 77th minute when substitute Ryohei Yamazaki, who came on to replace goal scorer Higashi in the 68th minute, side-footed home after Kensuke Nagai's knocked the ball into the path of the Jubilo Iwata forward.
The 2010 Asian Games champions are next in action on November 22 when they travel to Bahrain while Malaysia entertain Syria in Kuala Lumpur a day later.
Chief Coach, Ong Kim Swee said after the match, that it (losing 0-2) was not the end of the world for his team and hoped that they bounce back in their next two home matches against Syria and Bahrain (November 27).