Japan successfully advanced to the round of 16 in the Asian Cup, following a decisive 3-1 victory over Indonesia.
In a crucial Group D match, Japan demonstrated their superiority over Indonesia, managing to dodge another surprise loss after their unexpected 2-1 defeat to Iraq, the group champions, just five days earlier. Indonesia is now anxiously waiting to find out if their accumulated three points will qualify them as one of the four best third-place teams in the tournament.
Despite missing the top spot in their group by a single point to Iraq, Japan got off to an excellent start. Jordi Amat, formerly of Swansea City, was penalized for fouling Feyenoord’s striker, Ayase Ueda. Ueda took the penalty himself and successfully scored, giving Japan an early lead in the match.
Ueda found the net again early in the second half, capitalizing on Ritsu Doan’s pass across the goal to score from the back post. As the match neared its end, Ueda was on the verge of a hat-trick. However, it was Justin Hubner, a centre-back, who inadvertently assisted him by deflecting Ueda’s shot into his own goal off the crossbar.
This own goal extended Japan’s lead to 3-0. However, this lead was short-lived as Sandy Walsh managed to score a goal for Indonesia during stoppage time. This goal served as a consolation for Indonesia and gave their supporters a reason to celebrate.