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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Zico participates in charity match


KASHIMA, Ibaraki Pref. — Former Japan coach Zico scored the opening goal as a team of Kashima Antlers greats beat a team of ex-J. Leaguers 3-0 in a charity match to mark the reopening of Kashima Stadium following the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami

Kashima was hit badly by the disaster that devastated Japan's northeastern coastline and the match was the first at the 2002 World Cup stadium since the team's J. League season opener against Omiya Ardija on March 6.

A crowd of around 23,000 turned out to watch Zico and fellow Brazilian's Toninho Cerezo, manager of the club for six seasons, and Alcindo, whose son is currently on Antlers' books.

"I came back to try and put a smile back on the faces of people here," said Zico. "I believe in the power of Japanese people and am sure they can overcome this."

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