Okazaki scores twice in Mainz win


Japan forward Shinji Okazaki bagged his second brace of the Bundesliga campaign in Mainz’s 3-2 away win over Werder Bremen on Sunday.

Okazaki struck in each half for seventh-place Mainz, a left-footed volley off the bar in the 17th minute and another effort with his weaker foot on 70 minutes, sweeping home a cross from the right from Stefan Bell.

Okazaki, who also scored for his country last week in an eye-opening 3-2 victory over Belgium, took his season tally to five goals in 13 appearances.

“I just hit it as hard as I could,” he said of his goal before halftime.

“I was hoping to have five goals in the first half of the season alone. I can’t make excuses for not scoring. The manager has been patient with me, and I’ve got to come through for him with goals.”