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3 vs 0
Played
June 3, 2012 8:30 PM EST
Saitama Stadium 2002 — Saitama
Referee:‬ R. Irmatov‎
Attendance:‬ 63551‎
 
 
 
 

Japan 3-0 Oman: Honda, Maeda & Okazaki score as hosts dominate opener

The visitors had little to cheer about in the one-sided affair as over 63,000 fans watched the Samurai Blue cruise to a crucial victory in the final stage of World Cup qualifying

By Dan Orlowitz

Shinji Kagawa - Japan v Oman
Getty Images
Japan took a huge step in their campaign to qualify for a fifth straight World Cup with a thundering 3-0 victory over Oman on Sunday at Saitama Stadium.

The hosts wasted little time, attacking frequently in the first ten minutes and putting Oman under constant pressure. With shots raining from all points the first goal was a matter of time, finally coming in the 12th minute when Yuto Nagatomo’s cross was volleyed in by Keisuke Honda with his left foot.

With most of the first half’s play taking place in the visitor’s half, most of the pressure fell onto Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, who saved several great chances but was himself saved by the official’s flag more than once before the half ended at 1-0.

Japan picked up where they left off after the half ended, pressing Oman hard before doubling their lead in the 51st minute after Kagawa skillfully faked a shot before passing to Ryoichi Maeda, who converted from close range. The Jubilo Iwata veteran continued to demonstrate his mastery against Asian clubs, yet lagged in pace behind his Europe-based teammates.

Just three minutes later, Shinji Okazaki capitalised on a defensive error to give Japan a 3-0 lead on a blistering shot. The goal came as a relief to the Stuttgart man after he failed to capitalise on multiple first-half opportunities.

It was only thanks to two last-minute saves by Al-Habsi against Honda and substitute Hiroshi Kiyotake that the Samurai Blue failed to expand their lead even further as they closed the match with a flurry of chances.

The victory in front of over 63,000 fans extended Japan’s record under Alberto Zaccheroni to 13-6-2. The 2011 Asian Cup champions will host Jordan on Friday night, while Oman travel to Australia.

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Japan

-
Eiji Kawashima
Goalkeeper
 - 
22
Atsuto Uchida
Defender
30′ 58′
 - 
3
Maya Yoshida
Defender
 - 
15
Yasuyuki Konno
Defender
 - 
55
Yuto Nagatomo
Defender
 - 
10
Keisuke Honda
Midfielder
12′
 - 
15
Makoto Hasebe
Midfielder
 - 
7
Yasuhito Endō
Midfielder
86′
 - 
18
Ryoichi Maeda
Striker
52′
 - 
26
Shinji Kagawa
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 

Oman

 - 
26
Ali Al Habsi
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
 - 
11
Saad Suhail
Defender
 - 
13
 - 
12
Ahmed Kano
Midfielder
 - 
10
Fawzi Bashir
Midfielder
10′
 - 
7
 - 
2
 - 
-
Ahmed Hadid
Midfielder
65′
 - 
-
 - 
6

Substitutes

20
Shuichi Gonda
Goalkeeper
 - 
21
 - 
4
 - 
19
 - 
5
 - 
4
 - 
7
Hajime Hosogai
Midfielder
86′
 - 
13
 - 
4
 - 
14
Kengo Nakamura
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
31
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
22
Hani Saleem
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
21
 - 
5
 - 
-
 - 
-
Mohamed Hamed
Midfielder
 - 
-
Ali Al Jabri
Midfielder
65′
 - 
14
 - 
19
 - 
9
 - 
15
 - 
17

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Matchday 1
Times In EST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Shinji Okazaki Shinji Okazaki
Striker
Mainz
8 0
Younis Mahmoud Younis Mahmoud
Striker
Al Ahli (Jeddah)
7 1
Javad Nekounam Javad Nekounam
Midfielder
AlKuwait SC
6 1
Chu-Young Park Chu-Young Park
Striker
Watford
6 0
Keisuke Honda Keisuke Honda
Striker
Milan
5 2