Yoshida’s Japan reach Asian Cup final

By SFC Media Mon 28 Jan International
Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images | Maya Yoshida

Saints’ Maya Yoshida reached the Asian Cup 2019 final on Monday afternoon courtesy of a comprehensive 3-0 win for his Japan side over Iran in Al-Ain.

Yuya Osako’s brace – the striker’s third and fourth goals of the tournament – laid the foundations for Japan who will face either Qatar or hosts United Arab Emirates on Friday 1 February.

The Samurai Blue burst into life in the second half having laboured to get going before in the interval with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand not facing a single shot on goal.

Osako’s header changed that on 56 minutes before the forward doubled up from the penalty spot following a VAR review for handball, breaking Iranian hearts and their run of four consecutive clean sheets in their run to the semi-finals.

Genki Haraguchi’s strike in stoppage time sent the Japanese through at the expense of their most dangerous rivals in style.

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