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Japan thrash Oman in Asian Champions Trophy



Muscat, Oct 26: Asian Games gold medallists Japan scored a 5-0 victory over hosts Oman in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex here.

Japan finished their five round-robin league matches with seven points while Oman lost all their league matches in the six-nation competition.

Japan, who will play defending champions India in the semi-finals, were kept at bay by the Oman defence until the 14th minute before Koji Yamasaki opened the scoring on Thursday night.

The Japanese showcased their dribbles and passing, but the next goal only came in the 33rd minute through Wataru Matsumoto. Five minutes later, Kazumasa Matsumoto shot on target to make it 3-0.

The last two goals came within the space of one minute. In the 45th minute, Hiromasa Ochiai first scored in open play and then Hirotaka Zendana converted a penalty corner.

Japan's coach Siegfried Aikman said finding a way through Oman's defence was not easy.

"It was a difficult match because Oman defended deep inside their own territory. With all players within their 25-yard territory, finding solutions past the Oman defence was not easy," Aikman said.

"It is difficult for the players to keep discipline when they know they are better than their rivals. Everyone in my team wanted to show their skills," he added.

Tahir Zaman, coach of the Oman team, said injuries had reduced his side to just 15 fit players.

"It's no secret that three of our players have been injured. We were down to 15 players, but a bigger problem was that all the three injured players were strikers," Zaman said.

"To replace them upfront, we had to pull players from the midfielders and defenders, When we did that, the team lost its defensive structure," he added.

Oman will meet South Korea in a play-off for the fifth and sixth positions on Saturday.

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