Japan finish strong in Syria win

Japan finish strong in Syria win

Japan roared to a 5-0 victory over Syria on Tuesday night in the final match of joint qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Urawa Reds goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, FC Tokyo defender Masato Morishige and Gamba Osaka striker Takashi Usami were amongst the starters.

Kashima Antlers striker Mu Kanazaki also came on as a substitute as the Samurai Blue produced countless scoring opportunities over the course of the match.

After forcing a Syria own goal in the first half, Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa produced two goals of his own in the second half, with AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda and Hertha Berlin’s Genki Haraguchi also finding their way onto the scoreboard.

The win marked the 100th international appearance of striker Shinji Okazaki, who was honoured by the Japan Football Association after the match.

Japan concluded the second round of qualifying for Russia 2018 undefeated atop Group E with seven wins, one draw, 27 goals for, and no goals against.