Japan crush Honduras 6-0 in Kirin Challenge Cup
15 November 2014
The Japan men's national team, nicknamed SAMURAI BLUE, cruised past Honduras 6-0 in the 2014 Kirin Challenge Cup at Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture on 14 November.
Japan built a 3-0 lead in the first half, thanks to the goals by Southampton defender YOSHIDA Maya, AC Milan forward HONDA Keisuke and Gamba Osaka midfielder ENDO Yasuhito. And then they extended it in the second as Frankfurt forward INUI Takashi, Sagan Tosu forward TOYODA Yohei notched their first national team goals.
For Japan, 10 members that competed in this summer's FIFA World Cup, including Schalke 04 defender UCHIDA Atsuto and Endo, both of who returned to the team since the tourney in Brazil, and FC Tokyo forward MUTO Yoshinori. Frankfurt midfielder HASEBE Makoto was used as the anchor man.
Japan were active from early, having quick lateral attacks. On 9th minute, Mainz forward OKAZAKI Shinji headed a corner kick and then Yoshida put it in with a low header into the net to get the home side on the scoreboard first.
Japan mixed up with big side changes and quick lateral passes effectively afterwards as well. Muto and Honda threatened their opponents' goal on 18th and 27th minutes, respectively. On 40th, Uchida reacted and ran into KAGAWA Shinji's (Dortmund midfielder) long pass in front of the goal, and almost fired a shot.
Japan scored their second goal of the game a minute later. Hasebe cut a Honduras pass and sent a sharp lateral feed. Honda received it and dribbled up. The Honduras goalkeeper jumped out but Honda put that into the left corner of the goal.
Soon after, Kagawa, who received a through pass from Honda, became open creating an one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.
On 44th minute, SAKAI Gotoku, who had actively run up and down on the left side, relayed a pass to Honda. And Endo became free and fired a shot with his right foot for the third goal for Japan.
Japan substituted Muto with Muto in the second half, and then quickly came up with the fourth goal. Honda cut in from the right side into the middle, sent a cross to behind the defenders of the opponents, and Inui volleyed it into the net to give Japan a 4-0 lead.
Honduras, who came in the game combining members with seven players who competed in this summer's World Cup and younger players, had some moments that they had the momentum, pushing the Japanese team back. Forward Alberto Elis and midfielder Juan Josue Rodriguez threatened the Japan goal on 50th and 58th, respectively, but Uchida blocked their shots on both occasions. On 60th, Edder Delgado fired a middle shot, but it was saved by KAWASHIMA Eiji (Standard Liege), who sharply reacted it.
Japan extended their lead on 67th minute, when Kagawa received a pass from Honda in the box and relayed it to Toyoda. Toyoda, who came in from the second half, netted it to make it 5-0. Six minutes later, Japan moved the ball with Kagawa, Honda and Toyoda, and this time it was Inui who put one in the goal mouth. Japan created some more scoring opportunities with Toyoda and Honda, threatening the Honduras goal with aggressive attacking attitudes.
With the win, Japan have improved to a 2-2-1 record under Aguirre. SAMURAI BLUE will take on Australia in their second match in the Kirin Challenge Cup at Osaka's Nagai Stadium for their final contest of the year.
Javier AGUIRRE Head Coach
It was a good game that we put up a lot of different elements. Our players battled for the ball, while they had good defence and good offence, and we came out with this result in the end. I think our individual plays were good, too. Our team were playing with confidence as we had Endo and Hasebe in the middle. These two men are full of experiences and know their own jobs. With them and Kagawa, we played the game with good tempo. We'd created goal chances in our previous matches, so I didn't worry about scoring too much. We just made goals when we needed today. I think that we had better accuracy than before. It was also relieving that Inui and Toyoda had their first goals on this team. We are going to play in the same direction and want to make our team better, and if we play with responsibility like we did today, I think we are going to be a better team. Through today's game, we could find our basement for the Asia Cup even clearer.
MF KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund/Germany)
Scoring goals has been one of our issues, so coming up with a 6-0 win was great. It was huge that we scored one from a set play, and got on a roll as we added our second and third goals within the first half. I myself had a chance to score by getting in front of the goal, so it was disappointing that I could not make it. On side changes, I try to see the opposite side of the field when I have the ball. When we can take positions high at the sides, it gives us a lot of advantages, and I thought it gave us more passing routes and attacking options. And because we were fighting hard for the ball, we got the result, and I I think we were really connected with each other as a team. Yet we have to be aware of how much we'd be able to do against tougher teams. Hopefully, we can put up a better game in our next one.
MF HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany)
You don't really have a 6-0 win at the national team level, so we can give a credit to ourselves. (Individually) because the opponents came with two forwards, we tried to cope with our side backs so we would avoid two-on-two situations in our defensive backfield. Offensively, based on the suggestions by our head coach, we occasionally tried to establish our attacks by ourselves, depending on the situations. I've only played one game under Aguirre, but as we scored early and the opponents came up, we played on our rhythm and created some great opportunities offensively. Australia, our next opponents, will come against us harder, so we are going to have to think of better linkages on our defence, while we should be able to have variations offensively.
Hernan MEDFORD Head Coach
When you have a one-sided result like today, you don't really have a lot of comments. Japan completely overwhelmed us. We made too many mistakes and Japan took advantage of them. We lacked some fighting attitudes, and it made me think that this is the team I'm leading and it was incredible. Japan was great with all of their lines.
MF ENDO Yasuhito
DF UCHIDA Atsuto
FW INUI Takashi
Kirin Challenge Cup 2014
Fri. 14 November 2014 SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Honduras National Team
Toyota Stadium/Aichi Kickoff 19:35(plan)/Open 16:35(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on TV ASAHI
Tue. 18 November 2014 SAMURAI BLUE(Japan National Team) vs Australia National Team
Yanmar Stadium Nagai/Osaka Kickoff 19:20(plan)/Open 16:20(plan)
TV Broadcast: National live broadcast on FUJI TV
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