Tools: Save | Print | E-mail |
Japan Edge China 1-0 for Asiad Soccer Semifinals
Adjust font size:
Japan breezed over China 1-0 in a heavyweight quarterfinal of the Asian Games soccer tournament here on Tuesday, securing a clash against Thailand in the semifinals.

Forward Nakayama Satoshi scored the sole goal in the 60th minute off a cross from Mita Hikaru despite China had their dominance almost the whole match.

"It's a tough play, but we grabbed the chance. Actually we had only two chances during the match but we converted one," said Brazilian Zico, who took the coaching job for the Japanese national team just one month ago.

"China did have a good play. They created ten chances but failed to score. There is some luck in the match, I think, we are lucky," added Zico.

China, who beat Japan 1-0 in a friendly in August, actually had a dozen scoring opportunities but converted nil to their disappointment.

"I felt sorry that we didn't win the match. But it's only for the Asiad as we failed to advance. I'm proud of my players because they did wonderful job in the match," said Chinese coach Shen Xiangfu.

"It's just one game and we cannot draw any conclusion merely from the result. The match witnessed the progresses our team has made. So I asked my players to keep their heads high against the defeat," added Shen.

After both sides played tentatively in the early first half, China started to control the tempo after midfielder Yan Song created a golden chance in the 15th minute but failed to score. Two minutes later, forward Yu Tao headed home a corner off Xu Liang, which was eventually bounced off the bar.

China stepped up their attacks after Japan opened the scoring, but could find no way to penetrate Japan's dogged defense in the second half.

"We had a better defense in the second half, which kept our winning result," said Japanese coach Masakuni Yamamoto.

"Chinese players are stronger, taller and faster, especially their captain Du Wei. We are difficult to find chances through their defense."

Throughout the match, Japan created only a pair of clear chances, including the first when forward Okubo Yoshito failed to convert in the box in the 4th minute.

"It gives us more confidence, as you know we lost to China just one month ago. It will help our players grow up," added Masakuni.

In other quarterfinals, Thailand beat DPR Korea 1-0 and will face Japan on Thursday.

Host South Korea, hot favorite for the title, also scored a 1-0 victory over Bahrain, but only through the penalty kick, and will play Iran in the semifinal after the latter eliminated Kuwait 1-0.

(China Daily October 9, 2002)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail |

Username   Password   Anonymous
China Archives
Related >>
Most Viewed >>
- White paper on energy
- Endangered monkeys grow in number
- Yangtze River's Three Gorges 2 mln years in the making
- The authorities sets sights on polluted soil
- China, US benefit from clean energy

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys