Speedy Japan burn Scotland
© Foto-net

Japan kicked off their Group F campaign with a straightforward 3-1 dismantling of disappointing Scotland in front of a sold-out crowd at Victoria's Royal Athletic Park on 1 July.

The scoreline could have been even worse as the nimble Japanese had the advantage from the start over the clearly tense and out-of-sorts Europeans. But, the Asians were often wasteful with their ample space in the attacking third, and they had to wait to open the scoring until a dreadful mistake just before half-time by Scottish captain Scott Cuthbert gifted a goal to Yosuke Kashiwagi.

An impressive long-range effort from Tsukasa Umesaki in the 57th minute and another defensive blunder - this time by previously impressive keeper Andrew McNeil in the 79th minute - sealed Scotland's fate, despite a consolation from substitute Ross Campbell in the 81st. Scotland will be looking to improve in their next match on Wednesday 4 July against 2005 finalists Nigeria, while Japan will try to consolidate their good start to the tournament against Costa Rica on the same day.