Kagawa's Japan hit six, but Aussies held

Manchester United new recruit Shinji Kagawa got amongst the goals in Japan's 6-0 demolition of Jordan in World Cup qualifying Friday, as Australia laboured to a goalless stalemate with Oman.

Kagawa, whose club Borussia Dortmund agreed terms this week with the English giants, bagged his first goal of the final qualifying phase in another flawless attacking display by Japan after their 3-0 win over Oman last weekend.

The attack-minded midfielder grabbed Japan's fourth, 10 minutes before half-time, with a curling strike from the edge of the box in front of a packed Saitama Stadium.

But the night belonged to Keisuke Honda as the CSKA Moscow dangerman dazzled with a hat-trick against 10-man Jordan, who had striker Abdallah Deeb sent off for two cautions on 27 minutes.

Bleach-blond Honda set up the opener, a header by J-League goal ace Ryoichi Maeda, before running riot with three goals in just over half-an-hour, topped off with a penalty on 53 minutes.

"It was a hat-trick helped by my team-mates. They allowed me to hit a penalty shot as well," said Honda, who has only recently returned to the team after injury.

"I've been playing well, but the team itself is playing well. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum for our next game against Australia. We now have two wins as we had planned. The next game will be important."

Defender Yuzo Kurihara angled a header downwards for Japan's sixth and a win which will put them in high spirits before Tuesday's game in Brisbane -- a re-match of last year's Asian Cup final, which the Blue Samurai won.

"I feel great," said Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni. "I told my players to improve the accuracy from the game against Oman and they did. It was good to score six goals and our performance was also good.

"It was an important game. Jordan are also trying hard to go to the World Cup, but we also want to qualify. There's only two tickets. I think we showed our stronger feelings to get the ticket."

Japan already have a five-point lead in Group B, one of two five-team pools. The top two teams in each group qualify automatically for Brazil 2014, and the third-placed sides go into the play-offs.

But Australia made a low-key entry into the final qualifying phase when they were held 0-0 in Muscat by Oman, a team ranked 73 places below them in the FIFA rankings.

In sapping afternoon heat at Sultan Qaboos stadium, the Aussies only briefly threatened and they relied on their Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to prevent an embarrassing defeat.

But Holger Osieck's Socceroos at least come away with a point from Muscat, where they were beaten by Oman in the previous qualifying round last November.

Amad Al Hosni was a constant threat for Oman and he was unlucky with a snap volley early in the second half. The Omani then drew a superb reaction save from Schwarzer, diving low to his left, with a close-range header.

Australia, who had been foiled by Wigan stopper Ali Al Habsi in the first half, nearly snatched the win late on when substitute Archie Thompson went close first with a toe-poke and then a looping header in injury time.

In Beirut, Lebanon and Uzbekistan ground out a 1-1 draw. The Uzbeks replaced their coach Vadim Abramov with former star player Mirjalol Kasimov after last week's 1-0 loss to Iran, but to little immediate effect.

South Korea meanwhile bounced back from a goal down to see off Qatar 4-1 in their Group A Asian qualifier at the air-cooled Al Sadd Stadium.

The 2002 World Cup semi-finalists suffered a 22nd minute setback when Qatar forward Yousef Ahmed Ali put the hosts ahead.

However two goals from Lee Keun-ho and one each by captain Kwak Tae-hwi and Kim Shin-wook put the visitors on course for an eighth consecutive World Cup finals, stretching back to Mexico in 1986.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. She was responding to questions raised by former senior police officer and now Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of party-list …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

  • ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’
    ‘Conflict to affect economic growth, stability in SEA’

    Conflict in the South China Sea can affect economic growth and stability in Southeast Asia, New Zealand warned yesterday, amid China’s aggressive reclamation activities in disputed waters. New Zealand is marking its 40 th year of diplomatic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and hopes to intensify trade and other linkages with the 10-member grouping. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping territorial claims with China over the Spratly …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options