Soccer

Mallorca's Takefusa Kubo has uneventful debut in loss against Valencia

Kyodo

Young playmaker Takefusa Kubo made his debut for Mallorca in the Spanish first division in an anticlimactic 2-0 loss at Valencia on Sunday

Kubo, who was loaned to Mallorca this season from Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid late last month, entered as a substitute in the 79th minute at Mestalla Stadium, but found few opportunities to attack in the right midfield slot before the whistle.

Following the match, the 18-year-old Kubo — who became Japan’s second-youngest international when he was called up in June — did not respond to reporters and boarded Mallorca’s bus looking dejected.

Dani Parejo scored both goals in Valencia’s win with a pair of penalty kicks on either side of the break.

A product of FC Barcelona’s youth academy, Kubo moved from J. League first-division side FC Tokyo to Real Madrid on a full transfer earlier this summer.

The Tokyo Olympic hopeful played for Japan in the recent Copa America and is expected to join the national team in the second round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup starting next week.

In other European matches, Japan international Yuya Osako scored his second goal of the season in Werder Bremen’s 3-2 loss to Hoffenheim in the German first division.

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