Extra-time goals from Yuta Toyokawa and Shoya Nakajima kept Japan’s hopes of a sixth consecutive appearance the Olympic Games alive with a 3-0 win over Iran that moved Makoto Teguramori’s side into the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Championship on Friday.
Toyokawa put Japan in front five minutes into the first additional period before Nakajima struck twice in two minutes to settle what had been a tight tussle and victory means the Japanese are one win away from guaranteeing themselves one of the continent’s three berths at the Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Japan will meet either United Arab Emirates or Iraq in the next round, with the winner securing a place at the Olympics, while the loser will play-off against the other losing semi-finalist for the third and final spot in Brazil.
In the other quarter final match, host Qatar beat DPR Korea 2-1 after extra time thanks to the goals from Akram Afif and Ali Asad. The only goal for DPR Korea was scored by So Kyong-jin.
Qatar will face either Korea Republic or Jordan at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday for a place in the final and qualification for the Olympic Games later this year in Brazil.
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