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Yoshida urges Japan not to rest on laurels

26 July 2012 23:17

Japan captain Maya Yoshida has urged his team-mates to build on their shock 1-0 victory over Spain in their opening London Olympics match.

A 34th minute goal from Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Yuki Otsu was the difference between the two sides in Glasgow on Thursday, as the World and European champions were reduced to ten men when Inigo Martinez was given his marching orders 10 minutes later.

The triumph rekindled memories of Japan's famous 1-0 win over Brazil at the Atlanta Games in 1996 and Yoshida is calling on his fellow footballers to continue their good form.

"It's a very important victory for us because Spain is the most difficult team in the group," he said.

"It was a very tough game but we did win against a very strong team, we (are) going to keep going from now."

Spain's Juan Mata remained calm after the match, stating two more victories will be enough for Luis Milla's men to progress from Group D and reach the knock-out stages in London.

"Something was wrong, but we have to believe in ourselves," the Chelsea midfielder said.

"We have two games to go and all we can do now is win both. We have to think what we did wrong and improve."

Both sides are in action again on Sunday at the Sports Direct Arena in Newcastle as Japan face Morocco, while Spain play Honduras.

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