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A Tale of 2 Shinjis

After a flat first half, Kagawa came alive.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Shinji Kagawa had himself a good day at the office against Porto in the Europa League.

The Japanese midfielder showed various moments of brilliance during the game following a rough opening 45 minutes.

In the first half, Kagawa missed what should have been a sure goal, shooting just right of the net. He experienced trouble possessing the ball and was relatively uncreative

But the second half was Shinji time.

He was instrumental in providing Dortmund with their second goal of the night. After Marcel Schmelzer won a strong header towards the middle, Kagawa staved off a heavy challenge from Sergio Oliveira and somehow corralled the ball.

Keeping composure, he sent a through ball toward Mkhitaryan, who laid it off for eventual goal scorer Marco Reus.

Moments earlier, Kagawa looked to have an opportunity on a half volley but his shot kicked wide. The loose ball fell to Marco Reus whose shot came to a fallen Kagawa. The second effort from Shinji went just wide.

Another chance for Kagawa came just moments after the second goal, but his shot from close range was denied by Iker Casilllas.

Dortmund continued to press for a third goal and Kagawa sent in a stellar cross that Henrikh Mkhitaryan smashed off the woodwork.

Making way for Matthias Ginter in the 86th minute, Kagawa put in one of the best performances in the second half for either team.