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Akira Matsunaga

Full name: Akira Matsunaga
Original name: 松永 行
Gender: Male
Height: 5-7 (171 cm)
Born: September 21, 1914 in Yaizu, Shizuoka, Japan
Died: January 20, 1943 in [unknown], Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Affiliations: University of Tokyo, Tokyo (JPN)
Country: JPN Japan
Sport: Football


Akira Matsunaga was a speedy forward who ran the 100 metres in 10.8 seconds. He first played for the Shida Shizuoka Prefectural Junior High School and the Tokyo Higher Normal School (now University of Tsukuba). He was attending Tokyo Imperial University when he was selected to join Japan’s national team for the Berlin Olympics in 1936. He scored the winning goal against Sweden 40 minutes into the second half, becoming the driving force behind the historic feat that was later called the "miracle of Berlin." The two games in Berlin turned out to be his only international appearances. He served in the Japanese Army during World War II and was killed in 1942 as a member of the 230th Infantry Regiment during the battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. His younger brother Nobuo also played for the national team and his nephew Tadashi won the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Football Championship as a college student. The jersey Matsunaga was wearing during the Berlin Olympics is still kept today in the Prince Chichibu Memorial Sports Museum, the oldest one preserved from the Japan national football team.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Football Men's Football Japan JPN 5T

Men's Football

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G YC RC
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Football Japan JPN Final Standings 5T 1936-08-03 1 0 0
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Football Japan JPN Quarter-Finals Match #1 2 1936-08-07 ITA 8, JPN 0 0
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Football Japan JPN Round One Match #3 1 1936-08-04 JPN 3, SWE 2 1
id: 26,190