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Rediff.com  » Sports » Asian Cup: Japan register controversial win over Syria

Asian Cup: Japan register controversial win over Syria

Last updated on: January 15, 2011 00:00 IST

Japan beat Syria 2-1 in an Asian Cup Group B game that exploded into life in the closing stages when each side were awarded a penalty and Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was sent off.

In stoppage time, Syria defender Nadim Sabag was also sent off after a second yellow card when he rushed out of the defensive wall and tried to kick the ball away at a Japan free-kick.

Japan were seemingly coasting to victory at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium through skipper Makoto Hasebe's 35th minute goal when Kawashima felled substitute Sanharib Malki who had just been flagged for offside after a mix-up in the Japan defence.

Syria's Nadim Sabag (left) gestures toward referee Mohsen Torky of Iran as he is issued a red card during their Asian Cup Group B match against Japan on ThursdayIranian referee Torky Mohsen then had to deal with four minutes of protests in the first seriously controversial incident of the tournament before Kawashima walked and Firas Khatib fired past substitute keeper Shusaku Nishikawa to equalise after 76 minutes.

Six minutes later at the other end Mohsen awarded Japan a penalty after Shinji Okazaki was sandwiched between defenders Belal Abduldaim and Ali Dyab. It looked a soft decision but Keisuke Honda scored from the spot to restore Japan's lead.

With two matches played Japan and Jordan have four points and Syria three with three-times champions Saudi Arabia eliminated after their second defeat by Jordan earlier.

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