Japan beat Vietnam in six-goal thriller at Asian Cup

They took the lead through Minamino in the 11th minute

Reuters
Published : 14 Jan 2024, 02:25 PM
Updated : 14 Jan 2024, 02:25 PM

Japan came from behind to beat Vietnam 4-2 in their Asian Cup Group D opener in a thrilling encounter on Sunday at the Al Thumama Stadium where five goals were scored in the first half and Takumi Minamino grabbed a brace.

Japan took the lead through Minamino in the 11th minute but Vietnam shocked the four-times champions with two goals from well-worked set pieces where Nguyen Dinh Bac and Pham Tuan Hai found the net.

However, Minamino restored parity just before halftime with a calm finish from skipper Wataru Endo's pass before Keito Nakamura curled in a superb strike from the edge of the box to give Japan a 3-2 lead going into the break.

The second half was pretty much one-way traffic and though Japan took their foot off the gas, they put the game out of Vietnam's reach when Ayase Ueda scored in the 85th minute to seal the three points for the Samurai Blue.