Keisuke Honda scored a hat-trick to lead AFC Asian Cup holders Japan to a 6-0 victory over Jordan in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying. Shinji Kagawa, who recently agreed a big-money move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, was also on the score-sheet.
"It was a hat-trick helped by my team-mates. They allowed me to hit a penalty shot as well," said CSKA Moscow midfielder Honda.
"I've been playing well, but the team itself is playing well. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum for our next game against Australia. We now have two wins as we had planned. The next game will be important."
Honda set up the first goal with a corner, which two-time J.League top goal scorer Ryoichi Maeda headed home in the 18th minute. He bagged Japan's second goal when he cashed in on a pass from Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo just three minutes later, and Japan were given a further boost when Abdallah Deeb was sent off in the 27th minute for a second bookable offence.
Honda made it 3-0 on the half hour mark, with an easy finish after Stuttgart forward Shinji Okazaki's shot hit a defender. With ten minutes to go before half-time, Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida sent in a short cross for Kagawa who put Japan 4-0 up.
Kagawa, 23, has been in the spotlight since agreeing the move to United and will be relieved to have scored after failing to find the net in Japan's impressive 3-0 victory over Oman last Sunday.
Jordan, who failed to hit a single shot on goal during the first half, had three in a row at the beginning of the second. But it was Honda who struck next, completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after Maeda was brought down in the area by defender Khalil Baniateyah. Shortly before the end, defender Yuzo Kurihara made it 6-0 with his first goal for the national team, heading in a cross from Yuto Nagatomo.
"I feel great," said Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni. "I told my players to improve the accuracy from the game against Oman and they did. It was good to score six goals and our performance was also good.
"It was an important game. Jordan also try hard to go to the World Cup, but we also want to qualify. There's only two tickets. I think we showed our stronger feelings to get the ticket."
Japan lead the Group B table with two wins out of two for six points, while Jordan have one draw and a defeat for one point. The group also includes Iraq, Australia and Oman.
Japan play Australia away next Tuesday, while Jordan play Australia on 11 September at home.