2022 World Cup Qualifying - AFC, Round Two
  • Takumi Minamino (8', 66')
  • Yuya Osako (22', 30' PEN, 36', 49', 88')
  • Hidemasa Morita (56')
  • Daichi Kamada (84')
  • Kou Itakura (90')

Japan win 10-0 in World Cup qualifying as Yuya Osako scores five

Yuya Osako's five-goal haul helped Japan to a 10-0 rout of Myanmar on Friday that sealed the Samurai Blues' place in the next phase of Asia's qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Japan's victory, their sixth straight in qualifying for next year's finals, means they cannot be knocked off the top of Group F and take one of the 12 places available in the third round of the continent's qualifying competition.

The game originally been scheduled to be played in March, but was postponed until Friday due to civil unrest in Myanmar.

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About 30 protesters gathered outside the Fukuda Denshi Arena holding placards saying "Myanmar's soccer team does not represent its citizens", but there were no signs of dissent against the regime from players before or during the game.

On the pitch, Japan made light work of Antoine Hey's side, with Takumi Minamino opening the scoring early before Osako went on a spree that gave the home side a comfortable win.

Minamino's deft finish from close range in the eighth minute finished off an incisive move by the Japanese that highlighted the gulf in class between the teams.

Osako headed in the second after Yuto Nagatomo's overlapping run and cross, and the Werder Bremen striker added Japan's third from the penalty spot after Hiroki Sakai had been upended.

The 31-year-old completed his hat-trick before halftime when he stabbed in Nagatomo's downward header.

There was no let-up from Japan in the second half as Osako poked home Minamino's shot four minutes after the restart and Hidemasa Morita added a sixth.

Minamino stroked in his second and Daichi Kamada added Japan's eighth six minutes from time.

A diving header gave Osako his fifth of the night and another headed effort from Ko Itakura in stoppage-time completed the rout.

- World Cup 2022: How qualifying works

Meanwhile, FIFA have voided North Korea's results in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after they pulled out of the preliminaries earlier this month.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed North Korea's withdrawal on May 15, which followed the country's decision not to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Korea had been competing in Group H of Asia's preliminaries alongside South Korea, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka. With North Korea's results wiped out, South Korea now lead the group, level on seven points with Lebanon.

Turkmenistan, who had previously held top spot thanks to their 3-1 win over North Korea in November 2019, drop down to third on six points.

North Korea's withdrawal has also prompted FIFA and the AFC to modify the qualifying criteria for the third phase of the preliminaries.

The winners of each of the groups will advance to the next round alongside the four nations with the best runners-up records.

FIFA World Cup Qualifying - AFC Standings