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28 January 2019 - 23:59
Japan Tops Iran to Reach AFC Asian Cup Final

Title-contender Japan national football team defeated Iran 3-0 to reach the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on Monday.

Japan will play for a record fifth Asian Cup title after reaching the final by defeating the Iranian national football team, also known as Team Melli.

The host United Arab Emirates and Qatar meet in the other semifinal on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi for a berth in Friday's final.

Forward Yuya Osako opened the scoring for the Japanese team in the 56th minute.

He converted from the penalty spot 11 minutes later after VAR confirmed Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji's handball in the area.

Genki Haraguchi then scored in stoppage time to complete a rout which had been wholly unexpected after Japan’s unimpressive performances previously in the competition.

Carlos Queiroz, the former Real Madrid coach who has been in charge of Iran since 2011, came close to earning Iran its first title since 1976.

News Code 189918

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