Leverkusen - Bielefeld

Germany: Bundesliga
Leverkusen P. Schick (85)
Bielefeld R. Doan (18), M. Okugawa (57)

Masaya Okugawa credits countryman for first Bundesliga goal: "Ritsu shouted 'Shoot! Shoot'"

By Peter Vice

The last time two Japanese internationals scored in a Bundesliga match came in April 2016. Hiroki Sakai and Hiroshi Kiyotake tallied for Hannover 96 in a 2-2 draw with FC Ingolstadt 04. 

On Sunday, Ritsu Doan and Masaya Okugawa became the first two players from the land of Samurai Blue to lead their team to victory whilst achieving the feat. 

The Bielefeld duo expressed their delight after the match.

Masaya Okugawa.
Masaya Okugawa.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Florian Ertl

New Arminia coach Frank Kramer finally became the first trainer to build a starting XI featuring both summer acquisition Ritsu Doan and January transfer Masaya Okugawa on Sunday. Both players scored in the surprise 2-1 victory over Leverkusen at the BayArena. 

"It was a very important game for us," Okugawa said of the vital three points that ended up pulling the DSC out of the relegation zone, "[Ritsu] and I talked beforehand about how we wanted to fight and run together."

Doan, working as a short striker behind Fabian Klos, opening the scoring on Arminia's first chance of the game. With a little help from a lucky deflection off defender Edmond Tapsoba, the 22-year-old ensured that Bielefeld jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, 

Okugawa would eventually double the advantage for the underdog visitors. The 2-0 rendered matters quite psychologically tough for the favored Werkself. Bielefeld's newer Japanese international confirmed after the match that it was Doan who encouraged him to take the shot.

"The ball was a bit difficult, but I had a bit of time," Okugawa noted, "Ritsu shouted 'Shoot! Shoot!"

The fact that Doan himself was wide open to receive a pass on the play suggests that the two have a great potential for understanding on the pitch. Naturally, the pair we quick to emphasize that the much-needed win took precedence over their unprecedented combined brace. 

"We'll take a lot of confidence from this match," Doan told reporters, "Of course, we're happy to commemorate his first goal, but the most important thing is the three points."

21Lennart Grill
30Jeremie Frimpong
4Jonathan Tah
12Edmond Tapsoba
11Nadiem Amiri
20Charles Aránguiz (C)
10Kerem Demirbay ↩46
19Moussa Diaby ↩65
14Patrik Schick
28Demarai Gray ↩46
36Niklas Lomb
9Leon Bailey ↪46
13Lucas Alario ↪46
38Karim Bellarabi
6Aleksandar Dragović
16Tin Jedvaj
23Mitchell Weiser
25Exequiel Palacios
27Florian Wirtz ↪65
1Stefan Ortega Moreno
27Cédric Brunner
2Amos Pieper
4Joakim Nilsson
23Anderson-Lenda Lucoqui ↩76
7Christian Gebauer ↩88
19Manuel Prietl
31Arne Maier
11Masaya Okugawa ↩81
9Fabian Klos (C) ↩81
8Ritsu Doan ↩88
34Oscar Linnér
18Sergio Córdova ↪88
21Andreas Voglsammer ↪76
36Sven Schipplock ↪81
6Mike van der Hoorn ↪88
16Fabian Kunze ↪81
28Michel Vlap
30Marcel Hartel
38Jomaine Consbruch

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