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Latvian football team loses friendly to Japan

The Latvian national football team. Photo: lff.lv.
 KOBE (Japan), Feb 6 - On Wednesday, the Latvian national football team lost to Japan 0:3 in a friendly match. This was the first official match for the Latvian football team in 2013.

Shinji Okazaki scored two goals (41st and 61st minutes) for Japan, while Keisuke Honda scored the third (60th minute).

At the moment, Latvia is ranked 104th in the FIFA world rankings, while Japan is ranked 21st.

The previous time Latvia and Japan met for a friendly match was in October of 2005 in Riga, which ended in a 2:2 draw.

Latvia will play its next World Cup qualifier in March against Liechtenstein.

Right now in Group G, Greece, Slovakia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina are tied for first place with 7 points, followed by Lithuania (4), Latvia (3) and Liechtenstein (0).

The qualification tournament itself will last until October 15, 2013. The winner of the nine European qualification groups will automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup, while the second place finishers will play in an additional playoff round.

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