Japan achieved a hard-fought victory over Vietnam, which was considered one level below, in the first match of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup.

Japan, led by coach Hajime Moriyasu, won 4-2 in the first match of Group D of the Asian Cup against Vietnam held at Altumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar at 8:30 pm (Korean time) on the 14th.

Japan scored the first goal, but gave up two goals and fell behind 1-2. They showed their backs and achieved a comeback victory. 지울프-토토

Takumi Minamino (AS Monaco) led the attack with multiple goals and one assist, and Keito Nakamura (Reims) scored the comeback winning goal.

Japan, considered the most likely winner of this tournament, struggled, but got off to a good start by continuing its 11-game winning streak in international matches. 

Japan defeated El Salvador (6-0) and Peru (4-1) in turn in the two-game international match held in their country in June last year, and also defeated Germany (4-1) and Turkiye (4-2) in the European away game in September. defeated them all

In the A match in October, they defeated Canada (4-1) and Tunisia (2-0), and in November, they defeated Myanmar (5-0) and Syria (5-0) in the 2026 North and Central America World Cup Asian 2nd round qualifiers.

They then defeated Thailand 5-0 on January 1 of this year, and won 6-1 against Jordan in a closed-door friendly match on the 9th.

During 10 consecutive wins, he scored a whopping 45 goals, showing off his peak offensive power.

Considering the recent upward trend, today’s game was close to an upset.

Japan is ranked 17th in the FIFA rankings, the highest in Asia, and is considered the strongest candidate to win this tournament. Vietnam ranked 94th.

Vietnam, which was one step below in objective power, fought back, contrary to the prediction that it would focus on defense.

Even in the battle for possession in the first half, they faced equal competition and harassed Japan.

Japan was a good start.

Japan succeeded in taking the lead with Minamino’s first goal in the 11th minute of the first half. 

He calmly hit the ball from a corner kick set piece with his right foot and split Vietnam’s goal net.

It didn’t take long for Vietnam to equalize.

Nguyen Dinh Park equalized with a sensational header from a corner kick set piece in the 16th minute of the first half. It exquisitely went over the goalkeeper and hit the net.

The momentum was amazing. Vietnam took a 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute of the first half thanks to Pham Tuan Hai’s comeback goal from a free kick set piece.

Bui Hoang Viet An dropped the ball with his head and Pham Tuan Hai rushed in to score.

However, Japan, the favorites for the championship, did not panic, and in the 45th minute of the first half, Minamino leveled the game at 2-2 with a calm right-footed shot.

Then, in extra time, Nakamura hit Vietnam’s net with a fantastic right-footed mid-range shot, ending the first half with a 3-2 lead.

Japan, which was ahead 3-2, put an end to the game with Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord) scoring the fourth goal in the 40th minute of the second half.

Japan is the country that has won the most Asian Cups (4 times) and is challenging for the title for the 5th time in 13 years since 2011.

Meanwhile, French coach Philippe Trussier, who followed coach Park Hang-seo as coach of Vietnam, took over as coach of Japan at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup and led the team to advance to the round of 16 for the first time.

Next, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), led by former Korean men’s soccer team coach Paulo Bento, defeated Hong Kong and reported its first win of the tournament.

The UAE won 3-1 in the first match of Group C against Hong Kong held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar at 11:30 pm on this day.

The game on this day attracted attention as it was a match between coaches with ties to Korea.

Coach Bento, the UAE’s head coach, led the Korean national team to the round of 16 away for the second time in history at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Due to his unique leadership and successful results, he earned the nickname Ben Burge (Bento + Father) and bid a beautiful farewell to Korea.

Coach Bento, who left Korea, took a short break and then took charge of the UAE. This tournament is Coach Bento’s first major tournament leading the UAE.

Hong Kong’s head coach, John Andersen, previously played for the North Korean national team and coached Incheon United in the K-League 1 professional soccer team from 2018 to 2019.

After a fierce battle, UAE scored the first goal. Coach Bento, who used a unique passing style of soccer while leading Korea, also had a high possession rate against Hong Kong in the UAE.

He achieved results by overwhelming his opponent.

In the 32nd minute of the first half, the referee confirmed through VAR (Video Assistance System) that Hong Kong defender Oliver Gerbig committed a handball foul in the penalty box while blocking a shot by UAE’s Sultan Adil.

Adil broke the balance of the game by calmly completing his own penalty kick with a left-footed shot.

Hong Kong scored the equalizer at the start of the second half. In the 4th minute of the second half, Philip Chan Siu Quan

who was rushing in a cross from the side by Everton Camargo, hit the UAE net with a right-footed shot.

The UAE quickly took the lead again. In the 8th minute of the second half, he scored the go-ahead goal again in a chaotic situation in the penalty box. Adil’s shot hit the goalkeeper and was finished by Zayed Sultan.

Afterwards, both teams struggled to score a consolation goal and equalizer, respectively. 10 minutes of extra time were given and UAE laughed.

In the 4th minute of the second half, the referee judged again through VAR that Shinichi Chan had been fouled by Yahia Al Ghasani while making a breakthrough, and declared a penalty kick.

Al Ghasani served as the kicker and succeeded in scoring.

Later, in the 55th minute of the second half, Hong Kong’s Michael Udeburuzol scored a consolation goal, but the referee checked VAR and canceled the score

saying there was a foul before the shot. The game ended with the UAE’s first win of the tournament.

At 2:30 a.m. on the 15th, Iran defeated Palestine 4-1 in the first match of Group C of the group stage held at Education City Stadium.

As a result, Iran ranked first in Group C, and UAE ranked second. The rankings were followed by Hong Kong and Palestine.

Iran, considered a favorite to win along with Korea and Japan, scored the first goal in the second minute of the first half. Karim Ansarifard broke the balance of the game.

Iran, riding the wave, took a 3-0 lead thanks to consecutive goals by Shoja Khalilzadeh in the 12th minute of the first half and Mehdi Gayedi in the 38th minute of the first half.

Just before the end of the first half, Palestine’s Tamer Seyam scored a goal, but it was not enough to narrow the gap.

Iran widened the gap between the two teams by three goals again with Sardar Azmoun’s additional goal in the 10th minute of the second half.

There were no additional goals after that, and the match ended with Iran’s 4-1 victory.