London Olympics 2012: Japan into men`s football semi-finals

London: Japan stayed on course for an Olympic football double as their men`s team joined the women`s side in reaching the tournament semi-finals following a 3-0 win over 10-man Egypt on Saturday.

Goals from Kensuke Nagai, captain Maya Yoshida and Yuki Otsu took Japan through against an Egypt side who played more than half the match a man down after defender Saadeldin Saad was sent off in the 41st minute for denying Japan forward Manabu Saito a goal-scoring opportunity.

Nagai gave Japan a 14th-minute lead, shooting into an empty net after Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawi collided with one of his own defenders in trying to deal with a through ball.

Egypt, despite being down to 10 men, came close to an equaliser when Mohamed El Neny`s dipping shot was well-saved by Japan keeper Shuichi Gonda.

However, shortly afterwards, Japan put the result beyond doubt with two goals in the space of five minutes.

The unmarked Yoshida`s 78th minute header made it 2-0 before another header, from Otsu, completed the scoring.

Afterwards, a delighted Yoshida said: "The match was perfect. I had chances to score in the group stage and, finally, I managed to score on saturday, so I am very satisfied.

"We have to take the medal, that`s all. That`s what I say to the people in Japan," he added.

Delighted Japan coach Takashi Sekizuka said: "Being able to win in the quarter-finals is brilliant, magnificent.

"We still have a long way to go so I can`t feel proud of my players yet. We prepare game by game so we just have the semi-final on our minds now."

Saturday`s other quarter-final see Mexico play Senegal at London`s Wembley Stadium, Brazil take on Honduras in Newcastle and hosts Great Britain up against South Korea at Cardiff`s Millennium Stadium.


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