Japan routs Mongolia 14-0 in World Cup qualifying

SEOUL (AP) — Japan stayed perfect in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday by routing Mongolia 14-0.

The Japanese scored five goals in the first half and added nine more in the second. The team leads Group F with 15 points from five matches. A victory over Myanmar in June will secure first place in the group and a spot in the third round of Asian qualifying.

The eight group winners and four best second-place teams will advance to the third round of qualifying, which is scheduled to start in September.

Takumi Minamino, Yuya Osako, Daichi Kamada and Hidemasa Morita all scored in the first half, along with an own-goal from Mongolia defender Khash-Erdene Tuyaa.

Osako ended up with a hat trick, while Sho Inagaki, Junya Ito and Kyogo Furuhashi scored two goals each. Takuma Asano also scored.

The game had been scheduled to take place in Mongolia but was changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Asian Football Confederation decided this month to play all remaining Group F matches in Japan.

Later Tuesday, Saudi Arabia defeated Palestine 5-0 in the only other qualifying match from the Asian region and moved to the top of Group D above Uzbekistan.

Yasser Al-Shahrani and Fahad Al-Muwallad scored late in the first half to give the hosts the lead in Riyadh with two goals from Saleh Al-Shehri early in the second sealing the win. A late penalty from Salem Al-Dawsari completed the rout.

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