Iran loses out to Japan

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (MNA) – Iran’s 3-0 loss against Japan at AFC U23 Championship vanished all hopes of appearance in the Olympic Games.

Iran’s U23 football squad met Japanese rivals in Qatar's Doha on Friday in the first quarter-final encounter of Olympic qualifying tournament where the Japanese side achieved a 3-0 victory in the extra-time finding their way into the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Championship.

It was the Iranians who started the brighter, with Arsalan Motahhari breaking through with just two minutes on the clock before firing off a shot that goalkeeper Masatoshi Kushibiki palmed away for a corner.

Japan threatened soon after through Yuya Kubo, only to see his effort deflected to safety.

While Iran could have taken the lead all through the match, all their chances fell.

Iran had impressed for the two halves in normal time, but an inability to convincingly unlock the Japanese defense was to prove crucial as the game moved into extra time.

Extra-time goals from Yuta Toyokawa and Shoya Nakajima kept Japan’s hopes of a sixth consecutive appearance the Olympic Games alive.

Iranian football players had accomplished a 3-2 victory over China in their final Group A clash on Monday but with the loss against Japan, they dropped out of the event.

 

HA/3030856

 

News Code 113781

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