Japan U23 national team wins in their debut game after the slash UAE U23 national team with a score of 2-1 in the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 group stage, group D at Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent.
It was a cagey start with both sides struggling to get a grip on the match, but it was the UAE who had the first clear chance from a corner kick, only for Abdallah Al Balushi to hit the rebound way over the crossbar in the eighth minute.
As Japan’s confidence grew, they ventured further into the Emirati half and almost broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Mao Hasoyo lost his marker before connecting with Hiriji Kato’s curling corner kick, with his header narrowly sailing past the left post.
The young Samurai Blue enjoyed much of the possession in the latter part of the opening period but could only take their shots from distance against a compact UAE defence with Fuki Yamada forcing goalkeeper Suhail Abdulla into action in the 39th minute.
UAE, on their part, looked dangerous with set-pieces but were also unable to force an opening as the first half ended goalless.
UAE started the second half on the front foot but it was Japan who made the breakthrough in the 61st minute when Eid Khamis failed to clear Takashi Uchino’s cross into the area, with Yuito Suzuki pouncing on the loose ball to fire past Abdalla from close-range.
Japan’s lead, however, lasted less than two minutes as Yaser Alblooshi collected a long-range pass into the box and fired home a superb half-volley.
UAE were presented with a golden opportunity to go ahead in the 71st minute when Japan’s Anrie Chase was penalised for a handball in the box with Abdulla Idrees stepping up to the spot, but goalkeeper Zion Suzuki guessed correctly to deny the Al Jazira defender.
The miss was to cost heavily as the UAE backline was found wanting in the 76th minute when Hosoyo rose high to head home Shota Fujio’s lobbed pass as Japan regained the lead.
Desperate for an equalizer, UAE threw bodies forward but it was Japan who came close to extending their lead with Fujio slamming the ball against the upright in stoppage time.
Credit Photo : AFC