Okazaki debuts in preseason match


New signing Shinji Okazaki earned a first-half penalty in his debut for Mainz on Thursday as the Bundesliga outfit thrashed Dutch first-division club Groningen 4-0 in a preseason friendly.

The Japan international, who joined up with his new team on Saturday, started on the left side of midfield and made his presence felt in 45-minute run out in Bad Kreuznach.

Nicolai Muller opened the scoring on seven minutes and Niki Zimling made it 2-0 two minutes later. Okazaki surged into the box and was fouled before Muller converted the resultant spot kick for his second goal to make it 3-0 in the 19th minute. Yunus Malli rounded off a resounding victory from the spot in the 64th.

“I think I have been able to blend into the team well. I have to keep trying to show what I am capable of,” said Okazaki, who is nursing an injury to the left side of his lower back.