Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu praised his side’s ruthlessness after they recorded their biggest win in World Cup qualifying with Tuesday’s 14-0 thrashing of Mongolia.
The win fell one goal short of matching their all-time record, a 15-0 victory over the Philippines in Olympic qualifying in 1967, but Moriyasu was delighted with the way his side had taken Mongolia apart in the Group F match behind closed doors at Chiba’s Fukuda Denshi Arena.
“The players were focused on what they could accomplish rather than thinking about their opponent,” Moriyasu said.
“In the middle of the game we changed our system, and I’m glad the players who came on for the first time did so well.”
Werder Bremen striker Yuya Osako scored his first hat-trick in international football while Junya Ito, Kyogo Furuhashi and Sho Inagaki all claimed braces in a brutally one-sided affair.
The win was Japan’s fifth in a row in World Cup qualifying and came on the heels of their 3-0 victory over fierce rival South Korea in a friendly last week.
Victory over Myanmar on June 3 will see them advance to the next phase, when the continent’s four guaranteed qualifiers for Qatar 2022 will be determined.
Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Peter Rutherford; Reuters