MUSCAT, October 25: 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 on Thursday.
Japan, who will play defending champions India in the semi-finals, were kept at bay by the Oman defense until the 14th minute before Koji Yamasaki opened the scoring.
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 defense 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 defense was not easy,” said Aikman.
“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,” Aikman 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,” said Zaman.
“To replace them up front, we had to pull players from the midfielders and defenders, When we did that, the team lost its defensive structure,” he said.
Japan finished their five round-robin league matches with seven points, while Oman lost all their league matches in the six-nation competition.
Oman will play Korea in a playoff for the fifth and sixth positions on Saturday.