Usami scores as Japan sweep past Syria

Usami scores as Japan sweep past Syria

Goals from Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki and Takashi Usami gave Japan a 3-0 win over Syria in 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying action on Thursday.

Vahid Halilhodzic seize control of Group E as a result, going top of the table with the win in neutral Oman with Honda decisive as usual, tucking in the opener from the penalty spot in the 55th minute after Okazaki was brought down.

The Leicester City forward then doubled Japan’s lead in the 70th minute when he latched onto Shinji Kagawa’s ball before firing home, leaving Usami to put the cherry on the cake later when he slashed home Honda’s assist. 

The Gamba Osaka forward was joined by Urawa Reds pair Shusaku Nishikawa and Tomoaki Makino plus Cerezo Osaka’s Hotaru Yamaguchi as the Samurai Blue’s J.League representatives on the night.

Japan next travel to Tehran to play a friendly against fellow Asian giants Iran on Tuesday.

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