Uruguay overpower Japan as Aguirre learns scale of job
Edinson Cavani set Uruguay on their way to a comfortable 2-0 win over Japan on Friday as Mexican Javier Aguirre endured a painful first game in charge of the Asian champions.
If Aguirre was under any illusions as to the scale of the task he faces in rebuilding Japan’s World Cup flops, they were soon extinguished in Sapporo.
Cavani pounced in the 34th minute to give the South Americans a deserved lead.
Substitute Abel Hernandez doubled Uruguay’s advantage after 70 minutes, stabbing home from close range following another mix-up in the Japanese defence.
Uruguay's forward Abel Hernandez (left) celebrates with his teammate Egidio Arevalo Rios after scoring the second goal
Said Aguirre: “Uruguay are a very strong team and you can’t afford to make defensive errors, or they will punish you.
“We made two mistakes, they scored twice and it was all over. There are many areas we need to improve but clearly we need to work on our concentration in defence.”
Japan's head coach Javier Aguirre passes on instructions to Hiroki Sakai.
Even without controversial Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, Uruguay had too much pace and power for a toothless Japan side captained by the ineffective Keisuke Honda.
Substitute Yoshinori Muto briefly raised the pulse rate when he hit the post from long distance two minutes from time, but Japan did not trouble Uruguay, who face South Korea next week.
Japan will play four more friendlies after facing Venezuela, including a glamour game against Brazil here next month, before they open the defence of their Asian Cup title in January.