Japan Crushed Myanmar 10-0 to reach World Cup qualifying round
The Samurai Blue secured their spot in the next round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on Friday,
with Werder Bremen striker Yuya Osako scoring four goals in a decisive 10-0 win over outmatched Myanmar in Chiba.
The result against FIFA’s 139th-ranked side ensured Japan of a first-place finish in Group F —
which also includes Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia — with two games to spare.
“We’ve reached the next round thanks to the players working hard in each match to get results and improve themselves,” Japan coach
Hajime Moriyasu said. “Even after the result was more or less decided we stayed aggressive and kept going for another goal.
With J. League players unavailable due to the match — originally scheduled for March 25 — taking place outside
of the international window, Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu relied on an all-Europe-based squad at Fukuda Denshi Arena,
which was closed to fans due to coronavirus-related precautions.
The home side needed just eight minutes to take the lead, with Southampton’s Takumi Minamino scoring at the end of a
well-timed exchange of passes with Frankfurt midfielder Daichi Kamada.
“We knew from the beginning that Japan is a different class, so it’s not a surprise,” Myanmar head coach Antoine Hey said of the result.
“The situation that we are in, without any match practice for seven months … to face the best team in Asia was really a difficult task for us.
But we got over it, it was a heavy defeat, but that’s how it is. That’s what we expected.”
Myanmar’s first international fixture since November 2019 came as the Southeast Asian nation continues to reel
from a military coup that deposed its democratically elected government earlier this year.
Many of the country’s top players refused call-ups to the national team and a group of about 60 protesters, a majority of
who were Myanmar citizens living in Japan, greeted the team bus with signs reading “The Myanmar soccer team does not
represent its people.”
“We are concentrating on our job, on our team, on our players, we are not taking any political stand or side,” Hey said when asked about the gathering.
“We just do what we are here for — playing football as good as we possibly can.”
The lopsided result failed to match Japan’s previous match at Fukuda Denshi Arena, a 14-0 demolition of Mongolia in late March.
The team has recorded a perfect six victories in this group stage, scoring 37 goals and conceding none.