Iraq Wins Five-Goal Thriller to Advance to Asian Cup Last 16

Japan Secures Spot in Quarterfinals of Asian Cup

DOHA (AFP) — On January 24, Japan qualified for the last 16 of the Asian Cup with an impressive performance, setting up a potential showdown with South Korea. Already qualified Iraq also emerged victorious in a thrilling five-goal match.

Ayase Ueda netted two goals and Indonesia scored an own goal in a victory against Indonesia in their final Group D match. South Korea, led by Jurgen Klinsmann, sits second in Group E and will face Malaysia in their last group match.

Iran could potentially be quarterfinal opponents for Japan, but coach Hajime Moriyasu stated that his team is prepared for any challenges they may face. He also expressed respect for the top-level teams in Asia, acknowledging Iran and South Korea’s different styles of play.

Japan made a number of changes to their starting lineup from their defeat against Iraq, but goalkeeper Zion Suzuki remained in goal. The team made an exceptional start when they were awarded a penalty in the 6th minute, successfully converted by Ueda.

Despite a valiant effort from Indonesia, Japan secured a 3-1 win and second place in Group D, setting them up for a potential riveting match against South Korea. Indonesia, on the other hand, finished third in the group and await the results of first-round matches to see if they will advance as one of the best third-placed teams.

In a separate game, Iraq emerged victorious in a thrilling 3-2 win over Vietnam. Aymen Hussein scored a brace, including a penalty in the 12th minute of injury time, securing their status as the group winners.

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