Japan’s national team eased their way to a 7-2 victory over Bulgaria on Friday night to reach the final of the Kirin Cup 2016.
J.League players Masato Morishige, Yosuke Kashiwagi, and Yu Kobayashi were named as starters, but it was Europe-based players such as Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa – with a brace – and Maya Yoshida who gave the Samurai Blue a 4-0 lead at halftime.
Yoshida scored his second of the night after halftime, followed by Takashi Usami who made it 6-0 in the 57th minute.
Bulgaria’s Mihail Aleksandrov and Ivaylo Cochev both netted consolation goals but substitute Takuma Asano, who replaced Kobayashi at the hour mark, converted from the spot shortly before full time for the final scoreline.
Japan will meet Bosnia & Herzegovina, who defeated Denmark in penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw, in Tuesday night’s final at Osaka’s Suita Stadium.