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Japan beats the United States 2-0 in the men’s Olympic football warm-up match

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Japan midfielder Koki Saito, back, celebrates with Shota Fujio (9) after Fujio scored a goal from a penalty kick during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against the United States on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Kan.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Shota Fujio converted a penalty in the sixth minute, Mao Hosoya added a goal in the 69th and Japan defeated the United States 2-0 Tuesday night in an under-23 match, the Americans’ final warm-up before the Olympics To play.

Japan were awarded the penalty when Koki Saito tapped the ball off the right arm of defender Bryan Reynolds on the edge of the penalty area. Fujio sent the penalty to Patrick Schulte’s right as the goalkeeper jumped to his left.

Japan scored the second goal after intercepting John Tolkin’s throw-in. Shunsuke Mito dribbled towards goal and his pass was deflected past defender Jonathan Tomkinson and Schulte, and Hosoya tapped in the rebound from four yards.

Japanese midfielder Rihito Yamamoto was sent off in the 24th minute after being hit square in the face with a shot.

Schulte started in goal, with Reynolds at right back, Walker Zimmerman and Tomkinson in central defense and Caleb Wiley at left back. Tanner Tessmann, Paxten Aaronson, Duncan McGuire, Johan Gomez and Griffin Yow were in midfield and Taylor Booth led the attack.

Midfielder Gianluca Busio did not play after sustaining an ankle injury while playing for Venezia in the play-off against Cremonese on June 2 as they gained promotion to Serie A.

The U.S. qualified for the first men’s Olympic soccer tournament since 2008 and opens against host France on July 24, followed by New Zealand and Guinea. Japan plays against Paraguay, Mali and Israel.

Men’s Olympic football is limited to players under the age of 23, with each team’s 18-man squad allowed to include three players over the age limit. The 31-year-old Zimmerman captained the US and was the only over-the-top American player to dress.

Rosters of two goalkeepers and 16 outfield players must be submitted by July 3, and each team will appoint up to four reserve players, including one goalkeeper.

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