March 30 (Reuters) – Japan thrashed Mongolia 14-0 on Tuesday to move closer to the third round of Asia’s qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
Yuya Osako scored a hat trick, while Southampton’s on-loan playmaker Takumi Minamino was also among the scorers as Hajime Moriyasu’s side made short work of the Mongolian minnows.
The win means the Japanese will advance to the next phase of Asia’s qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup if they defeat Myanmar when the teams meet in Japan on June 3.
Playing in an empty Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba after the Mongolians were forced to relinquish hosting rights due to quarantine regulations at home, the game often felt like little more than a training exercise for the Japanese.
Minamino put Japan ahead after 13 minutes before Osako claimed his first 10 minutes later, slotting home after neatly turning the Mongolian defence.
Daichi Kamada made it 3-0 in the 26th minute when he steered in Junya Ito’s cross, and Hidemasa Morita scored the fourth seven minutes later.
An own goal from Khash Erdene Tuyaa five minutes before the break capped a challenging first half for the Mongolians, and there was no letup in the second period.
Osako scored his second 10 minutes after the restart with another composed finish, and substitute Sho Inagaki hit Japan’s seventh with 22 minutes remaining.
Junya Ito, Furuhashi and Ito all scored before a flurry of late goals to end the rout. (Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Hugh Lawson)