Japan reach Asian Cup final after hammering Iran (video)
Japan have reached the 2019 Asian Cup final as they cruised past Iran 3-0 in their semifinal Monday at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
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The Samurai Blue scored three times in the second half to seal the victory, as Southampton’s Maya Yoshida has skippered the Japanese national team throughout the tournament.
Newcastle’s Yoshinori Muto was an unused sub in the semifinal.
Yuya Osako scored twice in 11 minutes to put Japan in the driving seat and Genki Haraguchi’s stoppage time penalty kick sealed the deal.
Japan last won the Asian Cup in 2011, and this is the first final they have reached since then.
They are the most successful team in Asian Cup final history with four titles to their name.
Japan will play either hosts UAE or surprise package Qatar in the final, as the minnows meet in Abu Dhabi in the other semifinal on Wednesday.
The final will take place Friday at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.