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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Robert Lewandowski scores brace as Poland, Japan win in final pre-World Cup friendlies

A STUNNING first half double from Poland captain Robert Lewandowski was the highlight on the final day of international friendlies before the World Cup kicks off in Russia on Friday morning AEST.

The Bayern Munich striker scored twice in the first 33 minutes of a cruisy 4-0 win over Lithuania before being subbed off at half time.
Elsewhere, Japan capped their preparations with a 4-2 win over Paraguay, inclusiding a double to Takashi Inui, a strike from Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa and an own goal.
The Poles were themselves given a boost as two strikes from captain Robert Lewandowski followed by goals from Dawid Kownacki and Jakub Blaszczykowski gave them a 4-0 victory over Lithuania in their final pre-World Cup friendly in Warsaw.
Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, preparing for his first appearance at a World Cup, finished a team move with a precise strike for the opener. The 29-year-old doubled his tally after the half hour mark from a free kick cannoned off the bar and bounced out of the goal with the referee informed by goalline technology that the ball had crossed the line.
Japan completed their preparations for the World Cup with a 4-2 win over Paraguay in Innsbruck.
Paraguay, who failed to qualify for the finals in Russia, took the lead in the 32nd minute through Oscar Romero before Eibar midfielder Takashi Inui equalised early in the second half.
Japan went ahead in the 63rd minute when Inui found the net again, before an own goal by Paraguay forward Federico Santander made it 3-1 after 77 minutes.
Richard Ortiz reduced the deficit in the final minute, but Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa wrapped up victory with a fourth Japan goal during stoppage time. It is Japan’s first win under coach Akira Nishino, who took over from Vahid Halilhodzic in April, following 2-0 defeats to both Ghana and Switzerland in his previous matches.
The Samurai Blue open their Group H campaign against Colombia in Saransk on June 19, before fixtures against Senegal and Poland.