MD3 - Group F: Japan 6-0 Mongolia
Saitama: Japan overcame early frustrations to notch up a comfortable 6-0 win over Mongolia at Saitama Stadium on Thursday as Hajime Moriyasu’s side maintained their perfect start to their Asian Qualifiers campaign.
Goals from Takumi Minamino, Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo and Kensuke Nagai in the first half put Japan in command before second half efforts from Hiroki Nagai and Daichi Kamada sealed an emphatic victory on their road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
The win means the Japanese sit on six points from their first two games in Group F, having secured a 2-0 win over Myanmar in their opening game last month.
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Moriyasu’s side endured a frustrating opening quarter of the game as they struggled to turn their dominance into goals, but once Minamino headed home the opener in the 22nd minute from a right wing cross by Junya Ito, the flood gates opened.
Seven minutes later Japan doubled their lead when Yoshida headed in from close range after the Mongolian defence failed to deal with Shoya Nakajima’s corner, with goalkeeper Batsaikhan Ariunbold blocking Sakai’s effort before the Southampton defender nodded home.
Nagatomo made it 3-0 with 11 minutes remaining in the half when he finished off a fine move that saw Ito played in behind the Mongolian defence thanks to an inch-perfect return pass from Minamino and the first time centre found Nagatomo unmarked at the far post.
Japan’s four-goal first-half blast was completed five minutes before the break by Nagai, who rose to head in another fine cross from the impressive Ito, who was starting in place of regular right winger Ritsu Doan.
With the three points all but assured by half time, Japan were able to cruise through the second period, scoring twice more before the end of the game.
Sakai headed in from close range three minutes before the hour mark to claim the goal his overall performance deserved and, with eight minutes remaining, Daichi Kamada also scored with a header, steering his effort in after Ariunbold had parried Wataru Endo’s long range attempt.
Photos: Japan Football Association
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