Japan thrash toothless Togo 5-0

RIFU, Japan - Striker Shinji Okazaki grabbed a hat-trick to propel Japan to a 5-0 home victory over a thread-bare Togo in a Kirin Cup friendly on Wednesday.

It was Okazaki's second hat-trick in a week following last Thursday's 6-0 thrashing of Hong Kong in an Asian Cup qualifier and took his tally to 14 goals in 18 internationals.

"With the quality of the balls I was getting it was just a matter of getting on the end of them," Okazaki told reporters. "I just had to get into the right position and make contact."

Togo arrived in Japan half a day late with just 14 players after eight last-minute pullouts because of a financial dispute with the country's FA.

The West Africans scrapped their only scheduled training session on Tuesday and their lack of preparation showed as they fell 3-0 behind after 11 minutes.

Okazaki scored twice from point-blank range and strike partner Takayuki Morimoto added a third with a sharp shot on the turn to stun the visitors.

Okazaki completed his hat-trick 20 minutes into the second half with a glancing header before substitute Keisuke Honda made it 5-0 with 10 minutes left.

Japan have qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa but Togo's failure to reach their second successive finals led to a raft of drop-outs for the Far East trip.

The "Blue Samurai" beat a below-strength Scotland 2-0 at the weekend and a Togo side blunted by the absence of Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor failed to pose any threat.

"It would have been nice to play stronger opposition," said Japan coach Takeshi Okada. "The World Cup is only eight months away and the battle starts here."