Football

Shinji Okazaki is making a habit of scoring nice goals.

Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki scores sublime Dennis Bergkamp style goal for Japan

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Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki is developing a habit of scoring really, really, really good goals.

Last week he scored an overhead kick against Newcastle in the Premier League.

Now, he’s produced an incredible piece of skill to give Japan the lead against Afghanistan. Scroll down to watch the goal.

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Japan secured a 5-0 win to extend their lead at the top of their Asian World Cup qualifying group.

And Okazaki’s 43rd-minute goal was certainly the main highlight.

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Check out Okazaki's goal

Showing a hint of Dennis Bergkamp, the striker controlled a pass before turning his marker with a gorgeous touch.

He then slotted the ball past the goalkeeper and wheeled off in an exuberant celebration.

Remarkably, Okazaki hadn’t scored since January before his goal against Newcastle boosted Leicester’s title dreams.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

Okazaki has been important

At £7 million, he has been a sneaky good signing for the Foxes and is willing to put in the graft to allow Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to shine.

He’s also chipped in with six goals this season as Leicester attempt to pull off the impossible.

Claudio Ranieri’s team are seven games away from lifting the Premier League title. What once appeared a pipe dream has now turned into a reality; they hold a five-point lead over Tottenham, their nearest rivals.

Cool, calm Ranieri

Yet you couldn’t tell that by Ranieri’s calm persona. In all the excitement, the Italian has remained cool and composed throughout the campaign.

He did lose his rag once during Leicester’s win over Newcastle, however.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League

Leicester led at half-time but looked far from assured, and Okazaki revealed that the players were inspired by Ranieri’s rocket.

“The manager was so angry at half-time,” Okazaki said, per The Guardian. “He is smiling most of the time but when we came in at half-time he was mad. He is always joking but maybe to see him angry like that is good for us.”

On his 25th minute overhead kick, the 29-year-old added: “I have scored one like that before in the Bundesliga against Hanover but it was a completely different situation. This was a far more important game and because it was the goal that won it, makes it a lot different.

“I don’t practise overhead kicks. I actually like direct shooting. One touch – then shoot. The goal was just instinctive. That is my character.”

If he keeps scoring stunning goals, Okazaki won’t just be collecting a Premier League winners medal.

Will Leicester win the title? Have your say in the comments section below!

He’ll be adding a Puskas Award to the collection, too.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
World Cup
Premier League
Football
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Arsenal

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