Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Japan romp to 3-0 victory over Oman in Yokohama

DOMINANT The home side's skipper, Yuji Nakazawa, thought that his team should have scored four or five and Japan's coach had a similar view

AGENCIES , YOKOHAMA, JAPAN

Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura scored a goal and set up another as Japan beat Oman 3-0 in World Cup qualifying yesterday.

It was an impressive return to form for Japan after their shock 1-0 loss to Bahrain in their last qualifier in March. They now have two wins and one defeat in Group 2.

Skipper Yuji Nakazawa opened Japan’s account in the 10th minute when Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo lofted the ball in from a corner and the big Yokohama defender headed home.

Japan were making all the running and they went two up 12 minutes later when Nakamura sent a long ball into the Omani box which was picked up by Brazilian-born Marcus Tulio Tanaka. He found Yoshito Okubo who made no mistake.

Four minutes after the break Nakamura put the game beyond doubt, latching onto a ball just outside the area and letting loose a rocket that gave goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi no chance.

The Japanese maintained the pressure and Nakamura went close several times with his trademark freekicks.

“It was nice to score three but we’ll have to take our chances in our last three games,” Nakazawa told reporters. “We should have scored four or five goals tonight.”

“We scored three good goals but we could have created more opportunities to score,” said Japan coach Takeshi Okada, who took charge of the team for a second time in December.

“We should have been quicker to deliver crosses into the danger area and looked after possession a bit better. We will need to improve on that,” he said.

Oman, who have now lost two and won one in their drive for the final phase of World Cup qualifying, hardly created a chance.

In other World Cup qualifying games yesterday Bahrain cemented their lead at the top of the Group Two table after beating Thailand 3-2 in Bangkok while Singapore crashed to a 7-3 home defeat by Uzbekistan.

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