Soccer / World Cup

Inamoto, Fulham blank Zagreb


Junichi Inamoto set up Fulham’s second goal within 60 seconds of coming off the substitute’s bench to help Jean Tigana’s men pull off a sensational 3-0 win at 10-man Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of their UEFA Cup second-round tie on Thursday.

After the Londoners had taken the lead though Portuguese international Luis Boa Morte on 36 minutes, Inamoto replaced Martin Djetou just before the hour mark and made an immediate impact.

The Japanese midfielder sprung the offside trap to put Steve Marlet clean through and the Frenchman kept his head before coolly rolling the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to double the visitors’ advantage.

“Steve timed his run to perfection, although I thought for a minute the linesman was going to flag for offside,” said Inamoto.

“A lot of gaps opened up in the center of the park after (Zagreb) went down to 10 men and that made things easier for us,” added Inamoto, referring to the sending off of Kristijan Polovanec after 32 minutes.

Barry Hayles gave Fulham’s tiny band of traveling fans more to celebrate when he tapped home on 78 minutes to seal the win and give his side a healthy lead for the return leg at Loftus Road in a fortnight’s time.

In Italy, Inamoto’s national team midfield partner Hidetoshi Nakata was also on the winning side as Parma edged Poland’s Wisla Krakow 2-1 thanks to two outstanding efforts from Massimo Donati and Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.

Donati sparked the game into life when he unleashed an unstoppable right-foot effort from 30 meters, giving Wisla keeper Angelo Hugues absolutely no chance.

Nakata almost doubled the home side’s lead when his looping shot went just over the crossbar a minute before the interval while Mutu and Emiliano Bonazzoli also went close.

Maciej Zurawski pulled Wisla back into the match soon after the break with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area, but with 16 minutes left Mutu gave Parma a deserved win with a curling free-kick from 20 meters out.

“We looked a bit shaky after they equalized but I’m pleased with the way the boys turned it around,” Parma coach Claudio Prandelli said after the match.

Japan second again

DOHA (Kyodo) Japan had to settle for a runnerup finish for the fifth time in the Asian Under-20 soccer tournament after going down 1-0 to archrival South Korea in the final on Thursday evening.

A stunning golden goal from Jung Jo Gook in the sixth minute of extra time did the damage after the game had finished in a stalemate after 90 minutes. The goal was enough for South Korea to win the event for an unprecedented 10th time.

Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima showed why he was named goalkeeper of the tournament with a series of important saves but could do little about South Korea’s winner.