Japan pip Vietnam to reach Asian Cup semi-finals, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Japan pip Vietnam to reach Asian Cup semi-finals

Japan's Ritsu Doan scored a second-half penalty awarded by the newly introduced video assistant referee (VAR) to give the Samurai Blue a 1-0 win over Vietnam in the Asian Cup quarter-finals yesterday.

The FC Groningen winger drove the ball into the bottom left corner, beating Vietnam's Russian-born goalkeeper Dang Van Lam who had guessed the right way after the spot-kick was awarded in dramatic fashion in the 52nd minute.

0 1

Appeals for a foul were initially dismissed by the referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan, only for him to change his mind after a VAR review, with the technology being introduced into the tournament from the last-eight stage onwards.

The VAR review showed Bui stepping on Doan's foot, prompting Abulla to award the penalty and show Bui a yellow card.

Earlier, the VAR had denied Japan a goal.

In the 25th minute, Japan thought they had taken the lead through captain Maya Yoshida's header from a corner.

However, the goal was chalked off for handball as the VAR review found that his header came off his arm before going into goal.

Vietnam had started brightly but failed to make their chances count before the two VAR incidents took centrestage.

After taking the lead, Japan survived a late onslaught from the Vietnamese with Nguyen Cong Phuong missing an opportunity to equalise in the 89th minute.

The striker found himself unmarked just outside the box but blasted the ball over.

Japan's semi-final opponents will be either Iran or China, who met in their quarter-final this morning (Singapore time).