Five star Japan outclass Uzbekistan

Vahid Halilhodzic continued his unbeaten run as Japan coach on Tuesday when his side beat Uzbekistan 5-1 at the Ajinomoto Stadium. 

Having started his tenure in charge of Japan with a 2-0 victory over Tunisia, the former Algeria coach masterminded another thrilling victory despite naming a completely different side to the one that trumped the African giants.

The hosts dominated much of the first half but Toshihiro Aoyama's seventh minute strike was all they had to show for their attacking verve – the 29-year-old finishing a difficult chance with a superb finish past Akbar Turaev. 

After the interval, Halilhodzic made three changes and Shinji Okazaki headed home their second on 54 minutes.

In what turned out to be a frantic final 11 minutes of the match, the three Japanese substitutes were all intrinsically involved in the three goals,  while the visitors pulled one back to add some respectability to the score.

First, Gaku Shibasaki's long-range lob was ushered over the line by Okazaki to make it 3-0 in the 80th minute, before Islom Tuhtahujaev made it 3-1 two minutes later.

Uzbekistan's hopes of a revival were short-lived, though, as first Takashi Usami and then Kengo Kawamata scored Japan's fourth and fifth goals.

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