Japan got their 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign up and running on Sunday as they cruised to a 6-1 win over Honduras in Group E.
The Japanese were always control of proceedings at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium after a Keito Nakamura double handed them a 2-0 lead inside the opening half-hour, although Patrick Palacios did pull one back for Honduras in the 36th minute.
Nonetheless, Nakamura completed his hat-trick seven minutes later to restore Japan’s two-goal cushion, before Takefusa Kubo added a fourth on the stroke of halftime.
From that point, there was only ever going to be one winner and Yoshiro Moriyama’s young charges went on to make sure of the result with further goals from Taishei Miyashiro and Tochi Suzuki in the second half.
— #FIFAU17WC ??⚽️? (@FIFAcom) October 8, 2017
Despite the emphatic nature of the win, Japan are only second in Group E after France emerged bigger victors earlier in the day with a 7-1 thumping of New Caledonia.
Over in Group F, Iraq also got off to a promising start as they held two-time champions Mexico to a 1-1 draw at the Salt Lake Stadium.
It could have been even better for the Iraqis as they claimed a 16th-minute lead through Mohammed Dawood, who beat the offside trap to race through and finish past Cesar Lopez.
— Soccer Iraq (@SoccerIraq) October 8, 2017
However, the Mexicans hit back six minutes after the restart when Roberto de la Rosa pounced on a loose ball inside the area and fired into the bottom corner to earn his side a share of the spoils.
The result means it is England who lead the way in Group F early on following their 4-0 win over Chile, which came courtesy of a brace by Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho and goals by Callum Hudson-Odoi and Angel Gomes.
Photo credit: All India Football Federation