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Japan beats Qatar 3-2 to reach Asian Cup semis

01-22-2011 11:26 BJT

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A dramatic last-minute goal from defender Masa-hiko Ino-ha has helped the Japanese soccer team come from behind and snatch a 3-to-2 win over host nation Qatar ... to reach the Asian Cup semifinals.

Ino-ha struck in the 90th minute of Friday's contest, to keep Japan's bid for a fourth continental title alive. The volley also crushed Qatar's dreams of its first ever semifinal appearance.

Japanese defender Maya Yoshi-da was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card early in the second half leaving the squad a man down for nearly 45 minutes.

Japan's player Maya Yoshida, right, goes on to receive a red card after tackling
Qatar's Yusef Ahmed, left, during their AFC Asian Cup Quarter Finals soccer
match at Al-Gharafa Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Friday Jan. 21, 2011. Photo: Kin
Cheung / AP

But with the crowd expecting extra time Ino-ha struck his last-gasp blow. Japan will play the winners of Saturday's quarterfinal between Iran and South Korea for a place in the championship match. In another Round of 8 contest, Uzbekistan downed Jordan 2-to-1, to also reach the semis.

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The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
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Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
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