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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

Okazaki notches spectacular goal


HANNOVER, Germany — Japan striker Shinji Okazaki scored for the second straight game but his superb goal was not enough for Stuttgart, which was thumped 4-2 away by Hannover in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Okazaki did it Wayne Rooney-style, burying a bicycle shot into the top right corner in the 79th minute after Cacau headed down a leftwing cross from Gotoku Sakai.

Yet Okazaki's strike, Stuttgart's second after Martin Harnik had made it 4-1 four minutes earlier, proved to be too little too late as the hosts cruised to victory.

"I wasn't sure if it went in or not," said Okazaki, who is expected to be called up for Japan's World Cup qualifier next week at home to Uzbekistan.

"I was a little taken back myself. But I want to do more than just score. I want to help steer this team in the right direction," he said.

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