Japan 5 Uzbekistan 1: Five-star hosts maintain Halilhodzic start

Vahid Halilhodzic made it two wins from two as Japan coach in some style as his much-changed side beat Uzbekistan 5-1 on Tuesday.

Japan thrashed Uzbekistan 5-1 to make it two wins from as many games for coach Vahid Halilhodzic, with Toshihiro Aoyama scoring his first international goal.

Former Algeria boss Halilhodzic took over from Javier Aguirre this month and, having got off to a winning start with a 2-0 success over Tunisia on Friday, maintained momentum at the Ajinomoto Stadium.

Aoyama's strike - the only goal of the first half - was the highlight of Tuesday's match, the 29-year-old marking his eighth cap with a superb finish past Akbar Turaev after just seven minutes in Chofu.

Halilhodzic, who named an entirely different XI to the one that beat Tunisia, saw his side up the tempo after the interval, as Shinji Okazaki headed home a second with 54 minutes gone.

Three substitutes then got in on the act amid a frantic final 11 minutes, with Gaku Shibasaki's long-range lob selflessly shepherded over the line by Okazaki, before Islom Tuhtahujaev's effort for the visitors was eclipsed by further goals for Takashi Usami and Kengo Kawamata.

In a strong start from the hosts, Aoyama made the most of a loose clearance by producing an expert strike from the edge of the area to open his international account.

A corner punched clear by Turaev fell to the Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder, who made no mistake to fire home from all of 30 yards.

The Japan pressure continued with the lively Shinji Kagawa threatening down the left and, when his cross was only partially cleared, Yasuyuki Konno volleyed narrowly wide.

Halilhodzic will have been concerned prior to the break when Tuhtahujaev missed the target with a header from a narrow angle following a free-kick from Sardor Rashidov, but Japan's second-half display was commanding.

Okazaki scored a diving header to put the home side in control nine minutes after the restart - his fourth goal in five games for club and country.

Then, after Vokhid Shodiev crashed a free-kick into the Japan wall and saw it rebound down the field, Shibasaki proceeded to loft the ball over the onrushing Turaev, with the help of Okazaki's presence.

Tuhtahujaev pulled a goal back, only for Usami to burst through the Uzbekistan defence and steer home.

Japan were not done there, though, as Kawamata added the gloss to a convincing home triumph.