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Guwahati: Japan were in stellar form, scoring a 6-1 win over Honduras to open their FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 India Group E campaign in stunning fashion while Iraq, the AFC U-16 Championship 2016 winners, played to a 1-1 draw with Mexico in their Group F opener on Sunday.

A hat-trick by Keito Nakamura (picture above) propelled Japan to a convincing 6-1 victory over Honduras.

Showing skill and technical ability, Japan proved too difficult to handle for the Hondurans at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, with Nakamura scoring the first of his three first-half goals with a powerful header from Takefusa Kubo’s corner near the midway point of the half.

Nakamura then doubled Japan’s advantage with a neat dribble and finish on the half-hour mark before Honduras replied six minutes later through Patrick Palacios.

However, that lifeline for the central Americans was soon erased, as Nakamura completed his hat-trick on 43 minutes before Kubo made it 4-1 to Samurai Blue just before the half-time whistle.

Any hopes that Honduras had of a comeback were ended shortly after the break, as Taisei Miyashiro scored a fifth Japanese goal before Toichi Suzuki added a sixth to ensure all three points went to the Far East outfit.

Japan face France - who beat New Caledonia 7-1 on Sunday - in their second match on Wednesday.


In a battle of continental champions, Mexico and Iraq gave each other their best shots in an entertaining 1-1 draw in their opening Group F match.

Full of pace and seemingly endless stamina up front, Mohammed Dawood spearheaded the Iraqi counter-attacking gameplan, and he found himself in on goal more than a few times in the match.

It was the lone striker who opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a typically incisive breakaway in rainy Kolkata.

Mexico did their best to hold possession, and Roberto de la Rosa headed against the bar near the half hour mark, but twice on either side of half time the Iraqis could have extended their lead through Dawood (picture below) and then Mohammed Ridha - both wasteful with only the goalkeeper to beat.

In the second half, El Tri took more control and got their reward six minutes after the break by taking advantage of an Iraqi error.

It was Daniel Lopez who caused the chaos with a nicely weighted cross, and De la Rosa who took advantage of Abdulabbas Ayad’s miscued clearance.

Dawood continued to be a thorn in Mexico’s side, but it was Diego Lainez who went closest in the closing stages – forcing the best from goalkeeper Ali Ibadi in the 74th minute and just missing the target a few minutes before the end.

Up next for Iraq are Chile - who lost 4-0 to England earlier on Sunday, on Wednesday.

Sources: FIFA/Getty Images