Japan beats Tajikistan 4-0 in World Cup qualifier
Unbeaten Japan brushed aside Tajikistan 4-0 and advanced to the
last Asian qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup on Friday.
Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki scored his second goal of the
match in the dying seconds, putting the final touch to an
effortless victory that kept Japan atop Group C, ahead of
second-placed Uzbekistan, which beat North Korea 1-0 to also
advance at the Koreans’ expense.
Other goals in the game played in the national stadium in the
Tajik capital Dushanbe came from Yasuyuki Konno and Ryoichi
The loss was Tajikistan’s fourth from as many group games. It
reached the qualification phase only after Syria was barred by FIFA
for illegally fielding a player.
Japan will take on North Korea at Pyongyang on Tuesday, its
first match in North Korea since 1989.
Alberto Zaccheroni’s team faced few difficulties in overcoming
Tajikistan, which it crushed by 8-0 last month, although it took a
fortuitous rebound in the 36th minute by Konno from a save by Tajik
goalkeeper Alisher Tuychiev to break the deadlock.
A header from Okzaki in the 61st doubled the score. Eight
minutes before time striker Maeda clinically struck the ball into
the top corner to beat Tuychiev once more.
Tajikistan: Alisher Tuychiev, Sohib Savankulov, Eraj Rajabov,
Davronjon Ergashev, Ibragim Rabimov (Makhmadali Sadikov, 69),
Nuriddin Davronov, Dzhakhongir Dzhalilov (Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev,
57), Farkhod Vasiev, Kamel Saedov (Akhtam Khamrakulov, 68), Dilshod
Vasiev, Khurshed Makhmudov.
Japan: Eiji Kawashima, Yuichi Komano, Atsuto Uchida (Masahiko
Inoha, 89), Yasuhito Endo, Shinji Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa, Kengo
Nakamura (Hiroshi Kiyotake, 87), Yasuyuki Konno, Mike Havenaar
(Ryoichi Maed, 56), Makoto Hasebe, Maya Yoshida.