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Eiji Kawashima’s World Cup performances will not shock Dundee United fans

The Japan number one had a mixed spell at Dundee United.

Mathew Nash

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Some of the goalkeeping at the World Cup this summer has so far been questionable. Whilst there have been some unbelievable saves others have made errors, even one of the world’s best in David De Gea.

But Japan fans are probably a bit fed up with their own stopper. Eiji Kawashima has not been in good form for the Samurai Blue this summer. He let Juan Fernando Quintero’s free-kick crawl over the line against Colombia. He was then at fault as his wayward flap ended up in the back of his own net courtesy of Sadio Mane.

For fans of one Scottish team his struggles at the World Cup will not come as a surprise.

Kawashima is currently at French side Metz, but previously had a spell at Dundee United.

The Terrors signed the 35-year-old stopper back in the November of 2015. A free agent after leaving Standard Liege the Scottish side managed to complete the signing of the experienced Japanese goalie.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It seemed, on paper, a great piece of business from Dundee United.

However, that did not prove the case. Out of match practice and not suited to the physical nature of the Scottish game Kawashima was something of a flop at Tannadice. He bundled a punching clearance on his debut against Dundee in the derby, which Kane Hemmings put away.

Undoubtedly, he was a great shot-stopper. His penalty save against Hamilton was a huge highlight. But he could not handle crosses and always had a mistake in him, leaving Dundee United fans terrified when the ball entered his box.

Eventually, Dundee United were relegated that season and Kawashima was released. Now the number one at Metz is facing a battle to keep his starting place for Japan’s final group game at the World Cup against Poland.

Dundee United fans will hope he has one of his better game for his nation.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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