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Kagawa scores as Japan hit Costa Rica

first_img0Shares0000TAMPA, June 3- Manchester United striker Shinji Kagawa scored the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute Monday as Japan defeated Costa Rica 3-1 in a World Cup warm-up friendly for both teams.Kagawa stumbled as the ball came to him in the heart of the penalty area but kept his balance and swept a right-footed shot past Costa Rica goalkeeper Keilor Navas to give Japan a 2-1 edge. Yoichiro Kakitani, who came off the bench in the 76th minute, added an insurance goal in stoppage time for the Blue Samurai, who trailed 1-0 at halftime after finding only frustration from a flurry of chances.“It was good that we could come back and win after we fell behind,” Kagawa said.“We should have scored a goal in the first half. We had good chances. We need to score first in the World Cup because those are going to be tough matches.”Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz, a striker for Dutch side PSV, opened the scoring in the 31st minute, outracing Japan defender Yasuyuki Konno to a centering pass and flicking the ball into the back of the net.But Yasuhito Endo, a 34-year-old midfielder for Gamba Osaka who entered to start the second half, equalized for Japan in the 60th minute.Japanese captain Keisuke Honda, a forward for AC Milan, left-footed a centering pass to the heart of the penalty area, where onrushing Endo — the oldest man on either roster — blasted a shot into the back of the net.“Our condition was good and we played with a positive mentality,” Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said. “For the rest of the time until the World Cup we will focus on improving the players’ mentality and on finishing goals.“Kagawa and Honda, they played well. They both needed some time to get used to the game but they played well.”Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto said the match had World Cup-level intensity.“We had our World Cup rhythm,” Pinto said. “We were counter-attacking and moving the ball well, a high pressure, a World Cup feel. We played as intensely as we could.”But Zaccheroni said Japan’s attacking style paid off at the end by draining the Ticos of energy for the vital final minutes.“We made a lot of chances,” he said. “We kept making them run and pass the ball and they got tired and we dominated the game — eventually.”After a last tuneup Friday in Tampa against Zambia, Japan will fly to Brazil on Saturday and open Group C play June 14 against Ivory Coast with later matches against Greece and Colombia.Costa Rica, which plays a final warm-up friendly against Ireland on Friday at Philadelphia, was drawn into Group D against England, Uruguay and Italy. The Ticos open World Cup play against Uruguay on June 14.“We were able to create but our middle was exposed and certainly the defense made some bad decisions on the second and third goals,” Pinto said.“We made some mistakes. It’s a process. Some of our players will look to improve in the next week. ”Both teams hoped to adapt to the heat and humidity of Brazil by playing in similar conditions before 7,106 at the Florida home stadium of American football’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.The match came five days after the death of Buccaneers and Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer at age 85.Costa Rica, reeling from the loss of star scorer Alvaro Saborio to a broken right foot and left back Bryan Oviedo to a broken leg, tested new starters.Joel Campbell, the Olympiacos striker who at 21 was the youngest man on the pitch, got the nod up front while Junior Diaz, a 30-year-old for German side Mainz, received the back line call.– Japan first-half agony –Time and again the Asian champions pressed the attack in the first half only to come away empty.Yuya Osako nodded a centering pass over the crossbar in the 11th minute and moments later Kagawa evaded defender Michael Umana in the middle but fired a right-footed shot wide.Honda blasted a shot off the right post in the 24th minute and Yoshida Okubo forced a diving stop by Navas in the 25th.Honda was again thwarted in the 27th minute after evading Navas only to have defender Giancarlo Gonzalez clear the ball from danger.Hotaru Yamaguchi forced another tough save by Navas in the 29th minute and Kagawa yet another in the 41st minute.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Grocery-niche marvel

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventWhole Foods closed its fiscal year in September with $4.7 billion in sales and a $136 million profit. It has stated goals of $12 billion in sales by 2010. Begun in late 1980 as a quaint Austin neighborhood market with a hippie image, Whole Foods now has 181 stores scattered throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. The company went public in 1991 when it had just 10 stores, about 1,100 employees and stock selling at $4.25 a share. Today, it has 181 stores, nearly 40,000 employees and shares trading in the $65 range. More than 25 years after the first store opened, the company is still unafraid to be different. It awards stock options to store employees, not just senior executives. That may be just a few options a year, but they come when many grocery companies are closing stores, pulling out of markets and, in some cases, battling with workers over wages and benefits. It has a salary cap. Mackey makes no more than 14 times the average company salary, excluding stock awards and options. This meant forfeiting $46,000 of his bonus last year. Most American CEOs are paid as much as 600 times the company’s average salary, according to Paul Hodgson of The Corporate Library. AUSTIN, Texas – Without a hint of pretense, John Mackey recently said this to shareholders of his company, Whole Foods Market Inc.: “There aren’t many big corporations that we look at and say we want to be like that when we grow up. I think we are grown up, frankly.” That might be an understatement from the co-founder and chief executive of a grocery store chain with annual double-digit revenue increases in an industry where sales are relatively flat. Analysts also like how the company melds idealism – selling organic food and making environmentally conscious business decisions – and a focus squarely on the bottom line. Whole Foods accomplishes this undaunted by the emergence of smaller but formidable competitors, such as Trader Joe’s, or by the steady infusion of organic foods into the grocery aisles of giants, especially Wal-Mart. “What matters is if you take on a strategy or a philosophy, then create an environment that resonates with your consumer, you’ll win,” said Canaccord Adams analyst Scott Van Winkle. “What they have found is their customers care about the same things they consider important.” The company provides autonomy to store managers. Rather than take out national or regional ads, Whole Foods provides a $150,000 marketing budget the store manager can spend without corporate oversight. The decentralized structure and the employee perks are essential in Whole Foods’ philosophy that generates as much as $1 million in weekly sales per store, said the chief operating officer, Walter Robb. “I liked coming to work because it was never boring – never boring – and I was bored being retired,” said 68-year-old butcher A.J. Kutach. He worked in the company’s first market and recently came out of retirement to work in the company’s new flagship store in Austin, near where the original store stood. “Whole Foods (has) a niche in the supermarket space that hasn’t been addressed by conventional operators,” said Morningstar analyst Mitch Corwin. “Grocery stores have historically been fairly boring and not a fun place to shop, but now Whole Foods turned that image on its side.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more