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World Cup: Mexico Beats Ecuador, Japan Shuts Out Russia - 2002-06-09


Mexico has come back from one goal down to defeat Ecuador 2-1 in Miyagi, while Japan shut out Russia 1-0 in the first World Cup football finals match in Yokohama.

Augustin Delgado headed-in Ecuador's first goal in the World Cup finals in the fifth minute, to give his country the 1-0 lead. But the early goal against them seemed to energize Mexico.

Ecuador Coach Hernan Dario Gomez explains what happened. "I think that we were equal pretty much in the first few minutes, but then it fell down somewhat after that," he said.

Jared Borgetti chipped-in the equalizer in the 27th minute, then Mexico closed out the scoring in the 57th minute, when Gerardo Torrado drove a left-footed strike into the net from just outside the box.

Mexico moves to the top of Group G with six points, while the loss ended Ecuador's chances of moving on.

In the late game, the Japanese took the initiative from the start of the match. Japan's dominance paid off in the 51st minute, as Junichi Inamoto blasted a strike into the upper corner of the net to give Japan its winning 1-0 margin.

Coach Phillippe Troussier dedicated the win to the Japanese people. "We want to show this fabulous people, this marvelous people, how good and how really extreme was the confidence they gave to us during the last four years, and we really appreciated it," he said.

The Japanese now top Group H with four points, but Belgium will have a chance to join them when it plays Tunisia on Monday in Oita.

Earlier Sunday in South Korea, Costa Rica played Turkey to a 1-1 draw.

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