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Osako’s 2 goals send Japan to Asian Cup final

January 28, 2019
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Japan's forward Yuya Osako, runs as he celebrates his penalty goal during the AFC Asian Cup semifinal soccer match between Iran and Japan at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Jan. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

AL AIN, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Japan will play for a record fifth Asian Cup title after reaching the final by defeating Iran 3-0 on Monday.

The host United Arab Emirates and Qatar meet in the other semifinal on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi for a berth in Friday’s final.

Forward Yuya Osako did the damage in the second half by scoring the first goals conceded by Iran in the tournament.

He headed in the first in the 56th minute, and converted from the penalty spot 11 minutes later after VAR confirmed Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji’s handball in the area.

Osako also scored twice in the 3-2 win over Turkmenistan in the group stage.

Genki Haraguchi finished the scoring in second-half injury time.

Japan won by a bigger margin than one goal for the first time in six matches at this Asian Cup.

Iran missed forward Mehdi Taremi, who had three goals in the tournament.

Carlos Queiroz, the former Real Madrid coach who has been in charge of Iran since 2011, came close to earning Iran its first title since 1976.

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This version corrects the result to 3-0.

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