Japan easily handled the short-handed visitors ahead of Tuesday's crucial match at Australia as Shinji Kagawa also notched his first goal of the roundKeisuke Honda netted a hat-trick and Manchester United acquisition Shinji Kagawa also added a goal as Japan dominated Jordan 6-0 on Friday in Asia’s final round of World Cup qualifying.
Just like they did against Oman on Sunday, Japan immediately put the visitors on the back foot and rarely allowed them a moment to breathe. A bicycle kick by Shinji Okazaki was blocked by Jordan goalkeeper Amer Shafi, who minutes later was also forced to parry a grass-cutter by Honda.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 19th minute, when Ryoichi Maeda’s header went into the top right corner. It was the first time Japan scored the first goal against Jordan, and they doubled their lead just three minutes later when Honda blew past the defenders and accepted delivery from Yasushi Endo before beating out the goalkeeper.
Jordan’s bad luck only increased as striker Abdallah Deeb was ejected after receiving two yellow cards in a three-minute span. Japan immediately capitalised after play resumed when Okazaki’s low cross in front of the goal was tapped in by a wide-open Honda to make it 3-0.
Samurai Blue supporters didn’t have to wait long for the team’s fourth goal, scored by none other than recently-announced Manchester United transfer Kagawa, who was assisted by Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida at the edge of the box.
The visitors showed heart early in the second half, even forcing several saves from Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima. Their frustration showed, however, as a foul at the edge of the box by Khalil Baniateyah resulted in a penalty kick which Honda easily converted. Yuzo Kurihara then headed in Yuto Nagatomo’s cross late in the game to cap scoring.
The result gave Japan unmistakable momentum heading into their Tuesday's encounter with Australia in Brisbane, while Jordan will have three months to reflect on their slow start before they host the Socceroos on September 11.