Riffa: Japan confirmed their progression to the AFC U-19 Championship Bahrain 2016 knockout stages with a 3-0 win over Qatar that also knocked the defending champions out of the competition. The result means Japan advance to the next stage as Group C leaders, with title-holders Qatar falling at the first hurdle after Iran leapfrogged over them in the standings.
Yuto Iwasaki opened the scoring for Japan in the 14th minute at the Bahrain National Stadium. Koji Miyoshi doubled the advantage with a savage strike to end the half, with defender Takehiro Tomiyasu scoring a collector’s item in the 62nd minute.
Japan looked the more adventurous of the two sides as the game kicked off but spurned a good chance in the 14th minute as Iwasaki slipped at a crucial time in the opposition box.
The Kyoto Tachibana High School striker did well to recover his footing but the Qatari defence had got back by this time and blocked his shot on goal.
Iwasaki did not have to wait long to make amends though as Hassan Al Ali’s attempted backpass two minutes after was horribly casual and mishit with Koki Ogawa bearing down on him. Goalkeeper Mohammed Al Bakari got a hand to the ball ahead of the Japanese striker but could only watch on helplessly as Iwasaki joyfully slot into an empty net, prompting a round of high-fives from a delighted Atsushi Uchiyama on the bench.
Japanese attackers notched the second goal on the stroke of halftime, with Miyoshi pouncing on a Qatari half-clearance and unleashing a rocket-fueled left-footed strike into the Qatari net.
Japan found the net again in the 62nd minute as Ogawa headed before Tomiyasu turned home the rebound.