Japan thumps Mongolia 14-0 to close in on next round of WC qualifiers

Yuya Osako scored a hattrick, while Southampton's on-loan playmaker Takumi Minamino was also among the scorers as Hajime Moriyasu's side made short work of Mongolia.

Takumi Minamino put Japan ahead after 13 minutes before Yuya Osako scored the first of his three goals 10 minutes later as the team thrashed Mongolia on Tuesday.   -  Getty Images

Japan thrashed Mongolia 14-0 on Tuesday to move closer to the third round of Asia's qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Yuya Osako scored a hat trick, while Southampton's on-loan playmaker Takumi Minamino was also among the scorers as Hajime Moriyasu's side made short work of the Mongolian minnows.

The win means Japan will advance to the next phase of Asia's qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup if it defeats Myanmar when the teams meet on June 3.

RELATED | Joachim Loew brushes off melancholy talk, says only focus is World Cup qualifier

Playing in an empty Fukuda Denshi Football Arena in Chiba after the Mongolians were forced to relinquish hosting rights due to coronavirus quarantine regulations at home, the game often felt like little more than a training exercise for the Japanese.

Minamino put Japan ahead after 13 minutes before Osako claimed his first 10 minutes later, slotting home after neatly turning the Mongolian defence.

Daichi Kamada made it 3-0 in the 26th minute when he steered in Junya Ito's cross, and Hidemasa Morita scored the fourth seven minutes later.

An own goal from Khash Erdene Tuyaa five minutes before the break capped a challenging first half for the Mongolians, and there was no letup in the second period of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers.

Osako scored his second 10 minutes after the restart with another composed finish, and substitute Sho Inagaki hit Japan's seventh with 22 minutes remaining. Junya Ito, Furuhashi and Ito all scored before a flurry of late goals to end the rout.

Later on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia beat Palestine 5-0 in the only other qualifying match from the Asian region and moved to the top of Group D above Uzbekistan.Yasser Al-Shahrani and Fahad Al-Muwallad scored late in the first half to give the host the lead in Riyadh. Two goals from Saleh Al-Shehri early in the second and a late penalty from Salem Al-Dawsari completed the rout.

ALL RESULTS

Mongolia 0-14 Japan

Saudi Arabia 5-0 Palestine.