Football: Nakamura bags brace as Japan overpower Turkey 4-2

Atsuki Ito scored his maiden international goal, and Keito Nakamura added two more before halftime as Japan secured a 4-2 friendly win over Turkey on Tuesday.

Ozan Kabak pulled one back for Turkey to make it 3-1 late in the first half, while Bertug Yildirim further cut into Japan's lead before second-half substitute Junya Ito sealed the result from the penalty spot.

Japan's victory at the home of Belgian Pro League side KRC Genk followed their 4-1 dismantling of Germany on Saturday, which prompted the firing of Hansi Flick as head coach of the four-time world champions.

Samurai Blue manager Hajime Moriyasu made wholesale changes to the XI who faced Germany, starting Celtic goal machine Kyogo Furuhashi up top and handing first caps to defenders Seiya Maikuma and Koki Machida.

Ao Tanaka wore the captain's armband in place of Wataru Endo, who started on the bench.

The Japanese lineup, featuring several reserves and fringe players, took control early against Stefan Kuntz's Turkey.

Urawa Reds defensive midfielder Ito opened the scoring with a thundering effort from outside the area in the 15th minute. Cutting in from the right, he exchanged passes with Ritsu Doan before unleashing a shot that gave Turkey keeper Ugurcan Cakir no chance.

Reims midfielder Nakamura doubled the lead 13 minutes later, tapping in after Cakir could only parry a powerful shot from Takefusa Kubo.

Cerezo Osaka right-back Maikuma was instrumental in Japan's third, winning a challenge and flying down the right before sending a cross that Nakamura side-footed home from the middle of the area.

A mistake from Japanese goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura from a set piece led to Kabak's 44th-minute goal. The Portimonense stopper fumbled an initial header off the free kick before Kabak came charging in to nod home from close range.

Nakamura appeared to take a heavy knock to the shoulder as the pair collided and was replaced in goal by Daniel Schmidt.

Yildirim made it 3-2 in the 61st minute for a resurgent Turkish side before Reims winger and former Genk star Ito put the result beyond doubt by winning a penalty and converting from the spot in the 78th minute at his longtime home ground.

Tuesday's friendly was just the third meeting between the countries and the first since Turkey prevailed 1-0 in the round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup, co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

© Kyodo News