Japan beats Paraguay in soccer friendly match

Japan's national soccer team defeated Paraguay 4 to 1 in a friendly match ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

Japan, ranked 23rd in the world, played 50th-placed Paraguay in Sapporo City, northern Japan, on Thursday.

The starting lineup included Doan Ritsu and Kamada Daichi, who were not in the squad for the final match of the Asian qualifiers for the World Cup. Also on the lineup was Ito Hiroki, who was making his debut for the national team.

Asano Takuma got Japan's first goal in the first half. Kamada added a second to give Japan a 2-0 lead.

Paraguay responded with a goal in the second half. But Japan extended its lead with goals by Mitoma Kaoru and Tanaka Ao.

Japan is scheduled to play four friendly matches in June, ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar that open in November.

Japan will face top-ranked Brazil next Monday and Ghana on June 10, followed by Chile or Tunisia on June 14.