Japan thrash Myanmar after protests on off pitch

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Chiba, Japan

Japan thrashed Myanmar 10-0, on Friday to cruise into the third round of Asian World Cup qualifying, after protesters had raised anti-junta three-fingered salutes on and off the pitch.

Around 70 protesters gathered before kick-off outside the stadium in Chiba, near Tokyo, carrying pictures of detained Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and waving flags from the country’s 1988 uprising.

“This team doesn’t represent the Myanmar people,” a female protester, who gave her name only as “A” told AFP outside the stadium before the game.

She said that this wasn’t a protest against the players and We only want them to stop cooperating with the military junta.”

Five goals for Yuya Osako helped Japan clinch top spot in Group F with two games to spare, against a makeshift Myanmar side missing several regulars who boycotted the qualifiers in protest at the coup.—APP