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Asian Cup: Japan edge past Iraq 1-0

Asian Cup: Japan edge past  Iraq 1-0
A penalty kick from Keisuke Honda helped defending champions Japan beat Iraq 1-0 in the Asian Cup Group D second round match  on Friday. The four-time Asian Cup champions dominated the field and Shinji Kagawa’s long shot in the 11th minute only missed the bar and went slightly wide.

Japan almost broke the deadlock in the l7th minute when a fantastic delivery from Yoto Nakgtomo gave Honda a threatening header, which hit the post. The goal came in the 24th minute as Honda earned a penalty shot and the AC Milan midfielder stepped up to slot it home. Honda collected a rebound from Iraq’s goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim’s save but was sandwiched by two Iraqi players to a foul in the box.

Japan got the chance to expand their lead five minutes later when Shinji Okazaki’s header found the target, but only saw the ball denied by Hassan. Japan kept on their domination in the second half with only two minutes into the game as Honda got a shot from outside the area but just hit the crossbar again.
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