2017 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Yuya Osako (50' PEN)
  • Shu Kurata (88')
  • Chris Wood (59')

Shu Kurata scores late as Japan beats New Zealand in friendly

Masashi Hara/Getty Images

TOYOTA, Japan -- Yuya Osako and Shu Kurata scored second-half goals Friday as Japan beat New Zealand 2-1 in a friendly.

New Zealand managed to keep Japan off the scoreboard in the first half, but the hosts scored in the 50th minute.

Hotaru Yamaguchi earned a spot kick with a shot from outside the box that went off the right arm of Andrew Durante. Osako calmly converted for his seventh international goal.

Chris Wood equalised for New Zealand nine minutes later, but with three minutes left, Kurata scored with a header from a Hiroki Sakai pass.

"We may have won but it was not easy at all," Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic said. "New Zealand defended very well."

Japan, who have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup, host Haiti in Yokohama on Tuesday.

New Zealand are preparing for their intercontinental playoff against the fifth-placed team from South America, to be decided on Tuesday.