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2019 AFC Asian Cup

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Japan, Iran seal semis berth

Japan and Iran have booked their spots in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after recording victories over Vietnam and China, respectively.

Only introduced from the quarter-final phase onwards, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was called into play twice during the clash between Japan and Vietnam at the Rashid Al-Maktoum Stadium.

First in the 24th minute when Maya Yoshida’s goal was ruled out for a handball and again in the 56th minute when Vietnam’s Bùi Tien Dung was judged to have brought down Ritsu Doan in the box, resulting in a penalty which the player coolly tucked away.

Meanwhile at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, 24-year-old Sardar Azmoun put on a man-of-the-match display by scoring once (31′) and setting up another, to help Iran secure a comprehensive 3-0 victory over China.

Iran’s other two goals were scored by Mehdi Taremi (18′), who is set to miss their semis match after picking up a second yellow, and Karim Ansarifard (91′).

Japan and Iran will go head-to-head in the final four of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on Monday, 28 January at 10:00pm.

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