NIIGATA, Japan Ė Japan hammered Panama 3-0 on Friday in a friendly match in the northeastern city of Niigata.
Japan eased to a comfortable victory, made all the more pleasing thanks to positive showings from several young players making their debuts as they stepped in for the stalwarts Shinji Kagawa and Takashi Inui, who were given the night off.
The Central Americans had no answer for Japanís pace and precision, as they slipped to their sixth consecutive defeat.
After a relatively even opening, the Japanese broke the deadlock just before halftime when Takumi Minamino seized on lax defensive play by Panama to bury a left-footed shot at the near post.
Tatsuya Ito doubled the hostsí advantage in the 66th minute, bundling in a rebounded shot after a long spell of tidy possession.
Japan added a third goal in the closing stages through an own goal from Harold Cummings.