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U24 Japan 6-0 Ghana U24: Real Madrid prodigy Kubo dazzles vs Black Meteors

The Blue Samurai proved too strong for the visitors in the first of two scheduled friendly fixtures

It was a bad day at the office for Ghana’s U24 side as they were pummeled 6-0 by Japan’s U24 national team in an international friendly fixture on Saturday.

Ritsu Doan, Real Madrid youngster Takefusa Kubo, Yuki Soma, Ayase Ueda, Kaoru Mitoma and an own goal by Ghana centre-back Frank Assinki ensured victory for the Samurai Blue at Best Denki Stadium in Fukuoka.

The two sides are set to face off again on Wednesday in a second tie before the West Africans head off to play South Korea in another double-header.

While the game was part of Ghana’s preparations for the 2023 Africa Games, Japan used the fixture as a test match for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games where they will face South Africa during the group stage.

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The Black Meteors XI was headlined by Genk winger Osman Bukari and Asante Kotoko left-back Imoro Ibrahim, who both featured for Ghana’s senior side in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against Sao Tome and Principe in March.

Japan broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Doan volleyed a rebound into the net after Ghana goalkeeper William Essu failed to grab Kubo’s shot the first time.

In the 32nd minute, Kubo registered a goal of his own with a shot from inside the box after being set up by Ueda.

On the stroke of half-time, Assinki put the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear a shot across the face of the goal by Hiroki Sakai.

Just three minutes back from the half-time break, Japan made it 4-0 as Soma made no mistake with his placement after being played through on goal.

Ayase then planted a header into the net after neatly connecting after a Yuta Nakayama cross from the left.

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A minute to full-time, Mitoma sealed the win for the hosts, finishing off a string of fine passes by the Samurai Blue.

“As you know we didn’t have too much time for training. Since we came this is the second day of training and therefore we have no choice but to get ready for the match,” Ghana coach Samuel Paa Kwasi Fabin said before the game.

“This friendly will give me the chance to assess the boys that I am going to work with, with the U23 so the little time we have had, we have put things together for them to be able to perform.”

After the Japan double-header, Ghana will face South Korea on June 12 and 15.

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