DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Keisuke Honda scored a hat trick as Japan trounced Jordan 6-0 while fellow Asian giant Australia stumbled to a 0-0 draw against lowly Oman in Asian World Cup qualifying on Friday.
Ryoichi Maeda headed in a Honda corner kick in the 19th minute to give Japan an early lead and Honda doubled the advantage three minutes later when he beat Jordan goalkeeper Amer Sabah Mahmoud Shafia. Honda's second just past the half-hour mark made it 3-0 and he added a third from the penalty spot early in the second half.
Australia, meanwhile, struggled to cope with brutal heat in Oman, where the referee enforced frequent water breaks. It dominated first-half possession but came up empty and missed several chances from close range in the second.