Japan crush South Korea 3-0 - for Matsuda

SAPPORO, Japan (Reuters) - Japan overpowered fierce rivals South Korea 3-0 in an emotionally charged friendly on Wednesday less than a week after former international Naoki Matsuda died after collapsing in training.

Following a minute's silence in memory of Matsuda before kickoff in Sapporo, midfielder Shinji Kagawa put the Blue Samurai in front with a sharp right-foot finish after 34 minutes.

Keisuke Honda made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second half, clinically firing a left-foot shot just inside the post before Kagawa grabbed his second from point-blank range moments later following a flowing move from Japan.

Japan's players, unbeaten in 11 matches under Italian Alberto Zaccheroni and wearing black armbands, pointed skywards in tribute to Matsuda after each goal in a rare win over the Koreans.

Both sides were using the game as a warm-up for the third round of Asian 2014 World Cup qualifiers which begin on September 2.

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer in Tokyo; Editing by Ed Osmond)