JAPAN FIGHTING FOR QUARTERFINAL SPOT AT THE OLYMPICS

The Japanese team currently in Brazil for the Olympics hope to continue to the quarter finals when they play Sweden in the final round of games in group B.

Japan will face Sweden as they fight for their continued stay at the games, after their last games against Columbia ended 2-2 , giving them a lifeline. Nigeria top the group with maximum points after the second round of games, and have qualified for the next stage. The team to join Nigeria in the next stage is not certain as Nigeria take on Columbia. Columbia have two points after two round of games, Sweden and Japan have one each, leaving the scores of the last round the determinant of who continues to the knockout stage.

Columbia almost joined Nigeria in the next stage when they scored two goals against Japan. However, Japan scored two goals in the second half to change their fate. Forwards Takuma Asano and Shoya Nakajima scored a goal each to give the Japanese a lifeline. From the 18th minute, Columbian striker Miguel Borja scored a brilliant goal from outside the box, beating goal keeper Kosuke Makamura.

Both teams had opportunities in front of goal but they could not convert them. In the second half, Hiroki Fujiharu caused an own goal, giving the South Americans an edge. The Japanese team went to work immediately, and just two minutes later, Asano scored a goal, making it 2-1. Nakajima curled a shot from 25 yards out, making it 2-2 just before the game ended.

Japan would need to defeat Sweden when they meet while hoping Nigeria defeats Columbia, or at best the game ends with a draw. The victory will leave Japan with four points, enough to qualify for the next stage.

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