Kurata scores late as Japan beats New Zealand 2-1

TOYOTA, Japan (AP) — Yuya Osako and Shu Kurata scored second-half goals Friday as Japan beat New Zealand 2-1 in a friendly.

With three minutes left, Kurata scored with a header off a pass from Hiroki Sakai.

New Zealand managed to keep Japan off the scoreboard in the first half, but the hosts scored in the 50th minute. Hotaru Yamaguchi earned a spot kick with a shot from outside the box that went off the right arm of Andrew Durante. Osako calmly converted for his seventh international goal.

Chris Wood equalized for New Zealand nine minutes later.

“We may have won but it was not easy at all,” Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic said. “New Zealand defended very well.”

Japan hosts Haiti in Yokohama on Tuesday.

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