Half-Time Report: Keisuke Honda fires Japan to slender lead

Keisuke Honda fires Japan into a 1-0 half-time lead over Ivory Coast in their World Cup clash in Recife.

Keisuke Honda has fired Japan into a 1-0 half-time lead over Ivory Coast in their World Cup clash in Recife this morning.

:Japan's forward Keisuke Honda celebrates after scoring during a Group C football match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 14, 2014© Getty Images

The AC Milan playmaker smashed past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry on 16 minutes to give the Blue Samurai an advantage at the halfway point in their Group C opener.

Boosted by the news that Yaya Toure was fit to participate, the Elephants started the brighter of both sides and nearly took a sixth-minute lead through Wilfried Bony, whose effort deflected narrowly wide.

Japan slowly grew into the clash and saw their improvement rewarded shortly after the 15-minute mark, as Honda's fiercely-struck shot left Barry with no chance.

It could, and perhaps should, have been two just minutes later as wing-back Atsuto Uchida fended off two challenges but fired straight at Barry.

Toure fizzed a free kick narrowly over the bar but it was to be as close as Ivory Coast came to an equaliser in the first half.

Didier Drogba celebrates scoring for Ivory Coast against Turkey on February 11, 2009.
Read Next:
Preview: Ivory Coast vs. Japan
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League
La Liga
Ligue 1
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Cup
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Australian A-League
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Indian I-League
Liga MX
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account