Kirin Cup: Tunisia beat hosts Japan as nine-man Ghana overcome Chile
Tunisia lifted the Kirin Cup after a 3-0 win over hosts Japan, while nine-man Ghana claimed third place in the friendly tournament by beating Chile on penalties.
Esperance midfielder Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane opened the scoring for Tunisia with a penalty in the 55th minute in Osaka after Maya Yoshida upended Taha Yassine Khenissi.
Captain Youssef Msakni took advantage of hesitancy in the Japan defence to tee up Ferjani Sassi for the second in the 76th minute, and substitute Issam Jebali scored his second of the tournament in injury time with a fierce strike from 25 yards.
Denmark-based Jebali was also on target as Tunisia beat Chile 2-0 on Friday.
Ghana, Tunisia and Japan are using the tournament to prepare for the World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar in November.
“Our aim was to get to the World Cup, but now that we have achieved that we want to get to the knock-out round for the first time – that’s our goal,” Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri said.
“We have France, Denmark and Australia in our group and that will be very difficult, but we want to make our dream come true and get through to the knock-out round at the sixth time of asking.”
Earlier nine-man Ghana clinched a third-placed finish by beating Chile 3-1 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
Black Stars defender Alidu Seidu was shown a straight red card in the 67th minute, and midfielder Wakaso Mubarak followed him after picking up his second yellow 11 minutes later.
Ronnie Fernandez scored Chile’s first spot-kick, but Tomas Alarcon, Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz and Gary Medel all failed from the spot for the South Americans as Ghana keeper Abdul Manaf Nurudeen saved twice.
Ghana travelled to Japan with just an 18-man squad because of Covid-19 cases and injuries, having taken four points from their first two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The win over Chile came after they lost their opening Kirin Cup game 4-1 to Japan.
Egypt lose again
Meanwhile, in another friendly in the Far East Egypt, once again without captain Mohamed Salah, lost 4-1 to World Cup-bound hosts South Korea in Seoul.
South Korea, captained by Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min, scored twice in the opening 21 minutes through Bordeaux’s Hwang Ui-jo and then Kim Young-Gwon.
Egypt pulled one back seven minutes before the break as Mustafa Mohamed of Galatasaray found the target.
But the win was sealed in the final minutes of the game as substitute Cho Gue-Sung added a third for South Korea in the 85th minute and Kwon Chang-Hoon another in injury time.
The loss follows Egypt’s mixed start to their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying in the past 10 days, which saw the Pharaohs edge past Guinea 1-0 before a shock 2-0 loss at the hands of Ethiopia.