Miku helps Venezuela hold Japan

Asian soccer champions Japan were held 1-1 by Venezuela on Wednesday in the first of two warm-up matches before the resumption of the final round of regional World Cup qualifiers.

Yasuhito Endo put the Blue Samurai in front in the 14th minute at a sellout Sapporo Dome, sweeping home after a dazzling run down the right from Yuichi Komano.

Spain-based striker Miku pegged Japan back, twisting while on the ground to deftly poke the loose ball past goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with the outside of his right boot.

Keisuke Honda, sporting a new-look blond mohican haircut, could have put Japan 2-0 up well before the halftime whistle, only for his left-foot drive to thump off the crossbar.

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