FOOTBALL

Wataru Endo breaks his international goal drought as Japan faces disappointment in an Asian Cup defeat

Wataru Endo

In Japan’s second Asian Cup group match, Wataru Endo had a busy afternoon, but his late goal was not enough to prevent his team from losing 2-1.

While his teammates at the club get ready to head to Bournemouth on Sunday. The midfielder is currently leading his country in the competition.

Endo s Japan began the campaign with a victory over Vietnam earlier in the week. But on Friday, they suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Iraq.

Japan loses- endo scores his 3rd international goal

According to FotMob, Liverpool’s No. 3 played the entire 90 minutes for the second straight game and contributed to his team’s dominance with the ball, having the most touches (100) and passes into the final third (14).

Most significantly, in the third minute of stoppage time, the Japan captain endo skillfully found space at the back post to head the ball into the net. Giving his team a glimmer of hope.

It was his first goal for his nation since 2021 and his third overall.

After giving up two goals in the first half Japan’s dominance in possession (72%) and shots on goal (15 compared to Iraq’s 8) was a late reward for their efforts. However, it was not enough to salvage any points.

Iraq’s Ayman Hussein scored twice in stoppage time at the end of the first half, in the fifth and sixth minutes. Respectively, to help his team stay undefeated after two games.

Endo finished the game with a score of 7.8 out of 10, recording a game-high 12 recoveries during the match and earning the second-highest rating from FotMob.

While playing the entire ninety minutes, former Red Takumi Minamino was unable to add to his goals from the first game, one of which Endo assisted.

With one group match left against Indonesia on January 24, Japan is now down to three points. Nevertheless, since the top two teams in each group as well as the four best third-place teams advance, they can still feel confident about playing in the knockout stages.

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