Qualifiers - Group J: Japan shine, Laos stun Malaysia
Vientiane: Japan defeated Cambodia 8-0, while Laos edged Malaysia 1-0 in Group J of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers at the New Laos National Stadium on Friday.
The win gave defending champions Japan their second consecutive victory in the Qualifiers, following their 4-0 triumph over Laos on Matchday One.
Malaysia, who defeated Cambodia 7-0 in their opener, will now have to defeat Japan if they are to stand a chance of making the Finals.
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Cambodia 0-8 Japan
Japan opened their account in the third minute with a solo effort from Sorato Morimoto, who dribbled past the Cambodia defence before slipping the ball past goalkeeper Reth Ly Heng.
Morimoto doubled Japan’s lead in the 11th minute with a fine effort from inside the box as he finished off Sota Kitano’s assist.
Cambodia’s defence struggled to contain Japan as Sina Osaka put the East Asians further in front in the 15th minute after a sublime finish from close range for a 3-0 lead going into the break.
Japan picked up the pace in the second half and increased their advantage in the 49th minute through Sota Kitano, who curled in his effort from outside the box off Sina Osaka’s assist.
Yamato Naito then scored Japan’s fifth goal in the 57th minute after losing his marker inside the box before rounding off Heng.
Japan inflicted more agony on their opponents as Sina Osaka and Sota Kitano completed their braces in the 59th and 62nd minutes respectively before Morimoto completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute.
Laos 1-0 Malaysia
Malaysia started aggressively and had an opportunity in the third minute but Muhammad Aliff Izwan wasted his corner kick, with the ball eluding his teammates.
Seconds later, Malaysia gave the ball away cheaply and that gave Laos the opportunity to attack which ended with Lavi Somthongkham finishing off a good team move as he scored through the legs off goalkeeper Zulhilmi Sharani.
Malaysia had chances to get back into the game but their set-pieces in the 17th minute and two minutes before half-time left much to be desired as Laos took a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Malaysia found it hard to break down their opponents , with not a single shot on goal after 60 minutes.
When Malaysia did find a way though, Laos easily ended their attacks.
Malaysia suffered a blow in the 80th minute when they were left with 10 men after Muhammad Alif Farhan picked up his second yellow card and Laos sealed the points.
Photos: Laos Football Federation
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