• Kyodo

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Japan’s Under-22s bounced back from a 3-0 defeat to Kuwait’s senior national team earlier in the week to beat their Bahrain counterparts 2-0 in a friendly on Saturday.

Kota Mizunuma’s corner kick led to an own goal in the 44th minute before substitute Ryohei Yamazaki doubled Japan’s lead from the penalty spot in the dying seconds of the match.

“Our players did what they had to do in a match in the Middle East, such as fighting for the ball well and quick switches between attack and defense,” said Japan coach Takashi Sekizuka, who changed eight of the starting players from the previous match.

Sekizuka’s men ended their Middle East trip with a 1-1 record and begin their Olympic qualifying campaign in June.

Japan were originally scheduled on Wednesday to play Saudi Arabia’s U-22s but the team had to pull out due to turmoil within the Saudi soccer association.

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