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Asian Cup: Japan tops Saudi Arabia to reach quarterfinals

APTOPIX Emirates Soccer AFC Asian Cup Japan Oman

Japan’s defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, left, is challenged by Oman’s forward Muhsen Al Ghassani during the AFC Asian Cup group F soccer match between Japan and Oman at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)


SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) Japan advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup on Monday by beating Saudi Arabia 1-0.

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Takehiro Tomiyasu scored with a header in the 20th minute while the Saudis created few chances despite having more than 75 percent of the possession.

Japan, which is looking to win a record fifth Asian Cup title, will next face Vietnam. Saudi Arabia has not reached the Asian Cup quarterfinals in 12 years.

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Again at the sparsely attended tournament, there were banks of empty seats and chants echoed around the stadium.

Later Monday, defending champion Australia plays Uzbekistan while host the United Arab Emirates faces Kyrgyzstan.