Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni and his Uruguay counterpart Oscar Tabarez have good cause to remember on Friday 8 October 2010. Taking charge of Japan for the first time, the Italian led them to a maiden triumph against Argentina, while the veteran Tabarez presided over La Celeste’s biggest win in a decade and a half to celebrate signing a new contract with the national team.
FIFA.com has the details on those games and more as it rounds up the day’s friendlies around the globe.
Match of the day
Japan 1-0 Argentina
Goal: Shinji Okazaki 18
Japan made coach Zaccheroni’s first game in charge a memorable one as they collected their first win in seven attempts against La Albiceleste. The decisive goal came when Sergio Romero failed to gather a long-range shot and Okazaki sidefooted the loose ball home. Only a month after downing world champions Spain 4-1, the Argentinians came off second-best in every department and will need to improve when they take on age-old rivals Brazil in a demanding friendly next month.
Surprise of the day
Ukraine 2-2 Canada
Goals: Simeon Jackson 12, Atiba Hutchinson 29 (Canada); Artem Milevsky 59, Anatoliy Tymoschuk 80 (Ukraine)
Unbeaten in six matches going into this game, the Ukrainians had to apply themselves to stretch that run to seven. Stephen Hart’s charges, who lie a modest 88th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, shocked the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts by taking a two-goal first-half lead, although their inexperience told in the second as the eastern Europeans fought back to claim a draw.
Back in the Uruguay dugout again after a brief interlude, Oscar Tabarez inspired his charges to a 7-1 win over Indonesia in Jakarta, a result made all the more impressive by the absence of their South Africa 2010 adidas Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan.
Hat-tricks from Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez ensured the Atletico Madrid striker was not missed, with Sebastian Eguren also getting on the scoresheet on a night when the recent FIFA World Cup™ semi-finalists graphically illustrated the gap that separates them and the side ranked 112th in the world.
Later on in the day Sergio Markarian’s Peru posted their third straight win when they disposed of Costa Rica 2-0 on home soil. La Blanquirroja struck in the opening minutes through Luis Ramirez and Hernan Rengifo and maintained the advantage to register a fifth victory since their last defeat, which came against Argentina in October 2009.
A Radamel Falcao goal two minutes from time was enough to give Hernan Dario Gomez's Colombia victory over Reinaldo Rueda’s Ecuador in New Jersey and boost their preparations for the 2011 Copa America. The 24-year-old Porto striker won the game for his side only minutes after Maximo Banguera had kept out Giovanni Moreno’s penalty-kick.
In the day’s other encounters China, India and Oman earned respective wins over Syria, Vietnam and Gabon, and Bahrain proved too strong for Kuwait.
Player of the day
Atiba Hutchinson (Canada)
On a day when Cavani and Suarez stood out for Uruguay, the Canadian attacker took the honours by marking his 50th appearance for his country with a goal on their visit to Ukraine. The PSV Eindhoven man made his international debut in 2003 and is the 20th Canada player to reach a half century of caps.
15 - The number of years since Uruguay last scored seven goals, that occasion coming on 25 June 1995 in a friendly against New Zealand in Paysandu.
What they said
“I said it after we beat Spain and Republic of Ireland and I’ll say it again: I don’t want to be judged on my results. We weren’t the best team (in the world) before and we’re not the worst now. And to those people who do look at the results, all I can say is that I’m 2-1 up,” Argentina caretaker coach Sergio Batista following defeat to Japan.