Japan men's soccer wins U-23 Asian Cup

Japan's men's footballers have clinched the title at the Under-23 Asian Cup. They beat Uzbekistan 1-0 in the final on Friday to win the tournament for a second time.

Both sides struggled to create chances, but the game sprang to life in stoppage time. In the 91st minute, substitute Yamada Fuki finally broke the deadlock. His goal seemed to have sealed the win for Japan.

But shortly afterward, the referee pointed to the penalty spot. A video review found a Japanese player had handled the ball in the box.

Uzbekistan were given a last chance to equalize.
But goalkeeper Kokubo Leo Brian produced a fine save, securing the title for Japan. "We lost to Uzbekistan two years ago, so the whole team vowed to take revenge," said Kokubo after the game. "I'm ecstatic we could take the title for our country."

The tournament also served as Asian qualifiers for the Paris Olympics. Both Japan and Uzbekistan had already claimed two berths with victories in the semifinals.
Iraq also booked its ticket by beating Indonesia in the third-place game. Indonesia now face Guinea on May 9 in a playoff for the final spot.

Japan will be in Group D at the Olympics. It will face Paraguay, Mali and Israel. Uzbekistan has been placed in Group C, with Spain, Egypt and the Dominican Republic. Iraq joins Group B, alongside Argentina, Morocco and Ukraine.