Birthday boy Ko Itakura celebrates WC qualifying win with Japan
Ko Itakura and Japan recorded an important win as part of World Cup qualification on Thursday (27/1). The Samurai Blue beat China 2-0 in Saitama, with Itakura playing the full 90 minutes on his birthday.
Former Bundesliga player Yuya Osaka (13‘, pen.) and Junya Ito (61’) got on the scoresheet for Japan.
The victory saw Itakura and his teammates retain second place in Group B. They remain one point ahead of Australia, who beat Vietnam 4-0.
The top two teams in Group A and B will secure direct qualification to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the third-place teams taking part in an intercontinental play-off.
On Tuesday (1/2), Japan will take on group leaders Saudi Arabia in another World Cup qualifier in Saitama.