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A squad in transition following a surprisingly successful run in the World Cup. A new head coach establishing his vision. A South American opponent ranked fifth in the world. A sold-out Saitama Stadium. An impressive win that fans will look back on as having set the tone for the upcoming four-year cycle and put the world on notice that Japan is ready to stand up and be counted.

On Oct. 8, 2010, the Samurai Blue stunned Argentina 1-0 despite possession of just 39 percent, holding off Lionel Messi and company to defend Shinji Okazaki’s goal midway through the first half.

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