Brighton international star puts World Cup qualification down to teamwork

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Kaoru Mitoma, on loan from ALBION, credited Japan’s qualification for the World Cup to the hard work of his teammates.

Mitoma, who is on loan at Belgian side Union SG, scored a brace against Australia to send his country to the World Cup final in Qatar later this year.

He said: “I haven’t played much in this qualifying campaign, but we have reached this point thanks to what my seniors and all the other players have done.

“I think this victory is the result of everyone’s efforts.”

Mitoma scored his first goal of the game in the 89th minute, although he wasn’t substituted until the 84th minute.

On the goal: “When I saw that Miki had the ball, I knew from our time at Frontale where he would send it, and he made a great pass.

“I barely remember how I felt after the goal, I just ran towards the bench.”

Mitoma’s second goal was a solo effort that saw him blast past a defender before sending his shot past former Albion keeper Maty Ryan.

“I knew we must just be running out of time, but I saw that if I could get past the defender there was room for me to move in and I decided to go for it,” Mitoma said.

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