30.05.2018 14:34 h

Partey poopers: Ghana spoil Japan's World Cup wave-off

Ghana gatecrashed Japan's farewell game before the World Cup -- coach Akira Nishino's first in charge of the Blue Samurai -- with a 2-0 win on Wednesday.

Thomas Partey put the visitors in front after just nine minutes in rain-lashed Yokohama before an Emmanuel Boateng penalty early in the second further dented Japan's fragile confidence.

It was a harsh reality check for Nishino, who took charge last month after predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic was abruptly given the boot, plunging Japan's World Cup preparations into chaos.

Thomas, who plays in Spain at Atletico Madrid and largely goes by his first name, blasted a free kick into the bottom corner to punish Japan after a clumsy foul by Tomoaki Makino on the edge of the box.

Japan's talisman Keisuke Honda twice went close at the other end, but Boateng stunned the home side by doubling Ghana's lead from the spot six minutes after halftime.

Nishino cut a dejected figure in a soaked grey sweatshirt and baseball cap, in sharp contrast to Halilhodzic's dapper pinstripe suits.

The 63-year-old former JFA technical director threw on playmaker Shinji Kagawa, marking his return to the Japan side after an absence with ankle trouble since the start of the year.

Forwards Shinji Okazaki and Gaku Shibasaki also came off the bench as Japan chased goals but the hosts never really threatened a comeback in a poor display.

Japan travel to Europe to take on Switzerland on June 6 and Paraguay on June 12 in final tune-ups before facing Colombia, Senegal and Poland at the World Cup.

Nishino names his final 23-man World Cup squad for Russia on Thursday.

Japan, who will be playing in their sixth successive World Cup, have only twice reached the last 16 -- in 2010 and as co-hosts in 2002.