• Kyodo

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Japan striker Masashi Oguro scored a hat trick for French second-division side Grenoble Monday in a 5-1 rout away to Bastia.

Oguro headed a goal on a left cross in the 16th minute and made a short dribble near the left side of the net before driving home his second at the 39th minute. His third goal came when he scooped up a loose ball from his teammate near goal before finishing off a brilliant performance with a right-foot shot in the 66th minute.

“I’m glad that I was able to get these goals but it’s important that I continue to perform,” said Oguro. “I just kept persisting. I always want to score.”

The 25-year-old won his first cap for Japan in January last year in the 4-0 home win over Kazakhstan in a friendly and has scored five times in 15 international matches, including crucial goals in Japan’s successful qualifying campaign for this year’s World Cup finals in Germany.

“Our communication on the pitch is improving with each match. I had the timing down pat with that first cross goal and that is very important.”

Oguro officially signed for Grenoble and was introduced by the club owned by Japanese mobile content provider Index Corp. on Jan. 10 after turning down a multiyear deal offer from Gamba Osaka to ply his trade in Europe.

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