Japan beats Iraq 2-0 in semi-final to secure Olympic quota

Japan beat Iraq 2-0 in the AFC U23 Asian Cup semi-final. on April 29 to advance to the final against Uzbekistan at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

With this victory, Japan also obtains an Olympic quota for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Samurai Blue took an early lead, closing out the first half with a 2-0 score against Iraq.

22 years old Mao Hosoya was the first to find the net in the 28th minute, followed by Ryotaro Arakithe 42nd minute goal.

They maintained their dominance throughout the second half to advance to the final with a total of seven goals scored and just two conceded.

It was the first time the Japanese had appeared in the final four since winning the tournament in 2016, and with the Olympic quota secured, Paris 2024 will mark their 12th appearance at the Games.

After the overtime victory against Qatar, Japanese coach Go Oiwa told the AFC: “We will try to defend with our whole team. There is never an easy match. Every match is difficult and difficult, and the match against Iraq will definitely be the case. But we will be well prepared and we will do our best.

And with that, they were.

If they manage to defeat Uzbekistan in the final – who have scored 12 goals throughout the tournament without conceding a single one – they will become the first-ever double champions of the AFC U23 Asian Cup.

Iraq will face Indonesia in the third-place match, where the bronze medalist will earn the tournament’s final Olympic quota.

As National Olympic Committees have exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games, the participation of athletes in the Paris Games depends on the selection of their NOC to represent their delegation at Paris 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *