Just in case you had any concerns that Shinji Kagawa might not come back 100 percent from the injury he suffered last spring, you can put all of those concerns to rest. Between his great performance for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga's opening week and Wednesday's destruction of South Korea, it appears that Kagawa is back at the top of his form. He netted a brace for Japan against South Korea Wednesday, leading Japan to a 3-0 win over their rivals.
The first goal of the match - scored by Kagawa - was the highlight of the three. In the 33rd minute, striker Tadanari Lee received the ball at his feet on the edge of the penalty area, following a South Korea turnover in their own defensive third. With his first touch, Lee hit an audacious backheel right into the patch of Kagawa, who hit a tidy finish just barely inside of the back post.
If you're not familiar with Lee, you will be soon. The 25-year-old 6'0" striker has finally emerged as a star in the J.League after years of battling with injuries, scoring 10 goals in 30 games last season, while he has 10 goals in just 19 games with plenty of matches still left in the J. League season.
Japan's biggest superstar Keisuke Honda scored in the 53rd minute to shut down most hopes of a South Korea comeback, and Kagawa completely killed off those hopes when he completed his brace two minutes later. Though it's just a friendly, neither one of these teams likes losing to their closest rivals at any time, especially not in such convincing fashion. It wouldn't be surprising if this was a massive morale boost for Japan as they get closer to competitive international fixtures in 2012.