Japan routs Tajikistan 8-0 in World Cup qualifier
Mike Havenaar, Shinji Okazaki and Shinji Kagawa all scored twice to lead Japan to an 8-0 thrashing of Group C minnow Tajikistan in the third round of Asian qualifying for the World Cup.
Havenaar headed Japan in front in the 11th minute from a cross by Yuichi Komano. The hosts doubled the lead eight minutes later when Okazaki took a pass from Kengo Nakamura and beat the Tajikistan goalkeeper with a right-footed shot into the top corner.
Komano scored his first goal for Japan to make it 3-0 in the 35th before Kagawa closed out the scoring in the first half.
Havenaar, Kagawa, Nakamura and Okazaki all added goals after the break to complete the rout.
Japan sits top of Group C after three games, four points ahead of third-place North Korea with the top two advancing to the next round of qualifying.