Japan extended their unbeaten run under Vahid Halilhodzic to 11 matches with a comprehensive 7-2 victory over Bulgaria in the Kirin Cup.
Doubles from Shinji Kagawa and Maya Yoshida came after Shinji Okazaki had opened the scoring with a deft header.
Takashi Usami and Takuma Asano completed the scoring for the hosts, with Mihail Aleksandrov and Ivaylo Chochev restoring some pride for Bulgaria with consolations.
The hosts were immediately on the front foot in Toyota and opened the scoring after just three minutes as Okazaki timed his run to perfection to head home Yosuke Kashigawi’s delivery.
Kagawa then took centre stage, but not before Eiji Kawashima made a superb save from Dimitar Rangelov’s diving header.
With their lead still intact, Japan added another three goals in 12 minutes amid some questionable Bulgarian defending.
Kagawa headed home his first from Yuto Nagatomo’s cross, before doubling his tally having spun away from Stahil Popov in the penalty area.
A fourth goal before the break came courtesy of Yoshida, the Southampton defender nodding in from close range after Masato Morishige’s knockdown.
Yoshida continued the scoring soon after the restart with another tap in, before Usami curled home a superb sixth with 57 minutes played.
Bulgaria grabbed a consolation on the hour as Aleksandrov bundled his way through the Japan defence, and Chochev added another with a low shot through Kawashima with eight minutes to play.
Japan – who added gloss to the scoreline thanks to Asano’s late penalty – will meet Bosnia-Herzegovina in the final of the friendly competition after they came from two goals down against Denmark thanks to a Milan Duric double.
With the game tied at 2-2 after 90 minutes it was Bosnia who held their nerve in the shootout to progress to Monday’s final.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!