Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | ePaper

Japan, Qatar start Asian Cup runs with narrow wins

  • Print
AP, United Arab Emirates :
Qatar and Japan won their opening games at the Asian Cup on Wednesday, but for both teams it's all about 2022. Quite literally for Qatar, which is hosting the next World Cup that year and scored its first goal at 8:22 p.m. Qatar time.
Japan's quest for a record fifth title started with a 3-2 victory over Turkmenistan, while Qatar earned a 2-0 win over Lebanon amid political tension with the host nation.
After giving up an early goal, Japan - which has a young squad that's been rebuilt with an eye on the next World Cup - scored three in quick succession to turn the game around.
Yuya Osako scored in the 56th and 60th minutes, the latter following a goalkeeping error, and Ritsu Doan made it 3-1 in the 71st.
Arslanmurat Amanov scored with a long-range shot to give Turkmenistan - the Asian Cup's second lowest-ranked team - the lead in the 26th minute. Ahmet Atayev converted a penalty kick toward the end after a foul by Japan goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda.
After losing to Belgium in the last 16 of the World Cup, Japan is trying to rebuild. Coach Hajime Moriyasu left some experienced players off the team for the Asian Cup, including midfielder Shinji Kagawa and forward Shinji Okazaki. He is instead giving more prominence to players like Gonda, whose last competitive international game was in 2013.
Japan is unbeaten in six games since the World Cup, five of those victories.
In the other Group F match, Uzbekistan beat Oman 2-1. Eldor Shomurodov scored the winning goal in the 85th minute.
Uzbekistan finished the match with 10 men after defender Egor Krimets was sent off in stoppage time for fouling an opposing player who was through on goal.
Qatar dominated possession but lacked a cutting edge against Lebanon before Iraqi-born Bassam Al-Rawi curled in a free kick in the 65th. Almoez Ali made it 2-0 from a rebound 14 minutes later.
Earlier, Lebanon thought it had scored its first major-tournament goal since 2000 through Ali Hamam at a corner, but it was ruled out for a foul away from the ball.
It was the first time in 35 years that Qatar won an Asian Cup game while not being the host.
Qatar is playing despite political tension with the host United Arab Emirates and Group E rival Saudi Arabia, which have blockaded Qatar, cutting many travel and trade links. That disrupted travel plans for the Qatari team and the head of the Asian Cup's organizing committee, who is Qatari.
Qatar leaned heavily on its lavish youth academy system to build a team and its squad is the youngest of all 24 in the Asian Cup. Naturalized foreign-born players are also key, including French-born midfielder Karim Boudiaf and Portugal-born defender Pedro Correia.
Lebanese fans made up the vast majority of the crowd for Wednesday's game and frequently jeered Qatar. Saudi Arabia stayed top of Group E ahead of Qatar thanks to its 4-0 win over North Korea on Tuesday.

More News For this Category

Brazil model     accusing Neymar of rape speaks to police again

Brazil model accusing Neymar of rape speaks to police again

AP, Rio De Janeiro :A Brazilian model who has accused soccer star Neymar of raping her in a Paris hotel testified a second time to police in Sao Paulo on

France detain soccer great Platini in 2022 World Cup probe

France detain soccer great Platini in 2022 World Cup probe

AP, Paris :French police investigating whether corruption played a role in the stunning decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar took 1980s soccer superstar and former top executive

Guerrero, Farfan put Peru on brink of Copa America knock-outs

Guerrero, Farfan put Peru on brink of Copa America knock-outs

AFP, Rio De Janeiro :Captain Paolo Guerrero and forward Jefferson Farfan each scored one and created another as Peru took a huge step towards qualifying for the Copa America quarter-finals

VAR denies Brazil as Venezuela battle to draw

VAR denies Brazil as Venezuela battle to draw

AFP, Salvador :Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw against Venezuela in the Copa America on Tuesday as a late strike from Philippe Coutinho was disallowed after a controversial VAR

Sanchez strikes as Copa holders Chile thrash Japan

Sanchez strikes as Copa holders Chile thrash Japan

Chile began their Copa America defence in emphatic fashion with a thumping 4-0 win over tournament guests Japan on Monday with Manchester United misfit Alexis Sanchez scoring for the first

Abahani face Manang Marshyangdi in AFC Cup today

Abahani Limited all set to face Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal in their group E home match of the AFC Cup with both the teams expressing high hope to win

Suarez, Cavani score as Uruguay crush 10-man Ecuador in Copa America

Suarez, Cavani score as Uruguay crush 10-man Ecuador in Copa America

AFP, Belo Horizonte :Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were on target as Uruguay thumped 10-man Ecuador 4-0 in their opening Group C match at the Copa America on Sunday.Nicolas Lodeiro

Qatar hit back to snatch Paraguay draw in Copa America debut

Qatar hit back to snatch Paraguay draw in Copa America debut

AFP, Rio De Janeiro :Boualem Khoukhi scored 13 minutes from time as Asian champions Qatar hit back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with Paraguay at the Copa

Salah helps Egypt to another Africa Cup warm-up victory

Salah helps Egypt to another Africa Cup warm-up victory

AFP, Johannesburg :Egypt superstar Mohamed Salah came off the bench but did not score as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hosts defeated fellow qualifiers Guinea 3-1 Sunday in a

Arsenal refusing to sell AC Milan target Lucas Torreira

Arsenal refusing to sell AC Milan target Lucas Torreira

Arsenal are refusing to sell midfielder Lucas Torreira amid interest from AC Milan, according to Sky in Italy.With Marco Giampaolo set to move from Sampdoria to the San Siro as