UAE storm into Asiad quarter-finals

UAE stormed into the quarter-finals of the 16th Asian Games football competition after a splendid 2-0 victory over Gulf rivals Kuwait in the last 16 on Tuesday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:36 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:32 AM

Hamdan Al Kamali broke the deadlock, scoring off a spot-kick in the opening minutes of the second half and Abdullah Mosa doubled the score-line in the 88th minute.

This is the third confrontation between the two Gulf neighbours in 2010. The two teams locked horns in the preliminary round of the Gulf U-23 Cup in Doha, Qatar and the clash ended in a 1-1 draw. But UAE prevailed 1-0 when the two opponents clashed in the final of the competition. Ahmed Khalil sealed the solitary goal of the final to land the title for his side.

In the quarters, UAE will take on North Korea.

Football powerhouse Japan crushed India 5-0 to move into quarter-finals on Tuesday where they were joined by North Korea who edged past Vietnam 2-0. They stay in the gold medal hunt along with four-time champions Iran, triple winners South Korea, Uzbekistan and Oman who made the last eight on Monday.

Japan will tackle Thailand, managed by former England captain Bryan Robson, who edged Turkmenistan 1-0 for a place in the semi-finals.

On paper India are the better Asian Games team, having won titles in 1951 and 1962 and a bronze medal in 1970 while Japan is still seeking a maiden Asiad gold. But paper doesn’t tell the full story, with India failing to fire since then while Japan has become one of Asia’s top footballing nations.

They maintained their impressive 100 per cent record here with a brace by World Cup star Kensuke Nagai and goals from Ryohei Yamazaki, Kazuya Yamamura and Kota Mizunuma.

Nagai opened their account with a tidy finish on 17 minutes while Yamazaki buried a rebound 11 minutes later after the Indian defence weakly cleared the ball off the line. The writing was on the wall for India and Yamamura struck a hammer blow in the dying seconds of the first half when he headed home a Keigo Higashi cross.

Nagai got his second soon after the restart as the floodgates opened, with Kota Mizunuma grabbing the fifth in the 63rd minute before the Indian defence sorted themselves out to prevent an embarrassing scoreline.

Thailand reached the quarter-finals when Kirati Keawsombut scored an extra-time winner just minutes after Wichaya Dechmitr had been sent-off.

Dechmitr had earlier missed a twice-taken penalty.

North Korea’s clash with Vietnam was a much tighter affair, with Choe Kum-Chol 35th minute strike all that separated them for much of the match before Choe Myong-Ho converted a 91st minute penalty to seal the win.

(with agencies)

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