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Asian Cup qualifiers: Japan crush India 6-0

Asian champions Japan crushed India 6-0, making a convincing start to their defence of the Asian Cup.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 18:52 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Asian champions Japan crushed India 6-0 on Wednesday, making a convincing start to their defence of the Asian Cup.

The opening goal came from former Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono, who collected a half-hearted clearance to fire a sliding shot past goalkeeper Sandip Nandy in the 32nd minute.

It was Japan coach Zico's 100th goal since the Brazilian took charge following Japan's successful 2002 World Cup campaign. Ono was also the scorer of Zico's first goal.

India, who lost to Japan 7-0 and 4-0 in the qualifying rounds for the World Cup, fought gamely in the first half, with striker and skipper Bhaichung Bhutia driving his men forward on the counter-attack.

Their best chance came at a free kick in the 40th minute from near the corner of the penalty area, but Bhutia's shot sailed wide.

The Indians collapsed in the second period under intense Japanese pressure.

Japan made it 2-0 when Makoto Hasebe's shot was helped over the line by Seiichiro Maki in the 58th minute.

Zico's World Cup-bound team continued to threaten the Indian goal with Mitsuo Ogasawara going close before Takashi Fukunishi put the game beyond any doubt when he converted from an Alessandro Santos corner in the 68th minute.

The lopsided affair saw Tatsuhiko Kubo complete a one-two 11 minutes later to make it 4-0 while substitute Hisato Sato came on to score his first goal for the team seven minutes from time.

Kubo added his second of the day in injury time to complete the rout.

Japan will next take on three-time champions Saudi Arabia on September 1, while India play Yemen on March 1 in the four-team group round.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 18:52 IST