Twenty-three-year-old Takashi Usami pushed his stock within Japan’s national team higher on Thursday in the Samurai Blue’s 4-0 friendly win against Iraq.
In his first senior international start, the Gamba Osaka striker assisted teammate Shinji Okazaki’s goal at the conclusion of the first half.
“We were able to overwhelm them from the beginning of the match and played well,” Usami reflected after the sold-out International Stadium Yokohama encounter.
“I saw a path open up for me, so I pushed through with my dribble and Oka-chan (Okazaki) placed himself in a good position. All I had to do was pass the ball.”
The former Bayern and Hoffenheim player could appear in his first World Cup qualifier on Tuesday when Japan welcome Group E rivals Singapore, who started their qualifying campaign with a 4-0 win on at Cambodia.
“I want to prepare well and if I’m chosen to play I hope to score a goal,” Usami affirmed.