You wait months for some Samurai Blue action, and then four matches come all at once. The feast of football kicked off last Thursday with a “friendly” against South Korea.
Hajime Moriyasu’s men impressed with a dominating attack in their first full-strength encounter against their archrivals since 2011, writes Dan Orlowitz. This time, Japan came away with the bragging rights, winning a comfortable 3-0 in Yokohama.
Then came the hiccup. A day later, a strong effort by Japan’s under-24 team was not enough to overcome their Argentine counterparts as head coach Akinobu Yokouchi’s side suffered a 1-0 loss at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo.
Fortunately for the young guns, that was the first of two games. And the second was a very different proposition. Japan’s Olympic hopefuls made nine changes from the defeat three days earlier, and the reshuffle paid off handsomely, with a 3-0 win for the hosts against the young Argentine side.
Then came the coup de grace. On Tuesday, the senior squad put on a dominating display against Mongolia in Chiba, netting five goals in the first half and nine in the second on the way to a 14-0 win that all but guaranteed advancement to the next round of World Cup qualifying, Orlowitz reports.
The Samurai Blue now sit at the top of Group F with 15 points from five games and 27 goals scored to none conceded. Fans should also be pleased with the goal tally from the four matches over the past week: 20-1 in Japan’s favor.