DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran was defeated by Japan on Sunday at the Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in the AFC U-19 Championship. Iran had lost opening AFC U-19 match to Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Group A. The team needed to win over Japan to book its quarter-final berth.
Hiroki Miyazawa put Japan, who defeated Yemen 5-0 in their opening Group A fixture, ahead in the opening minute before Nagai added a quick-fire second.
Ehsan Haji Safi and Seyed Iman Moosavi scored for Iran to restore parity before Nagai netted his second to put Japan ahead once more, according to AFC.
Alimohammadi Jalalaldin missed from the penalty spot before half-time and Nagai scored his third 12 minutes from the end to ensure a second straight win for the 2006 runners-up, who joined Saudi Arabia in the last eight, while Iran and Yemen have now been eliminated.
The match was less than 40 seconds old when Japan took the lead following a short corner which caught the Iran defence napping and Kosuke Yamamoto's cross was headed in by Miyazawa.
A shell-shocked Iran conceded a second after seven minutes when Nagai brought down a long ball from goalkeeper Suichi Gonda and rounded Iran stopper Mohammedbagher Sadeghi to score with nonchalant ease.
But Iran refused to surrender and Moosavi played in Haji Safi who raced through a gaping hole in the Japan defence and finished with aplomb to pull one back after 19 minutes.
Iran were continuing to expose Japan's defensive frailties - particularly from set-pieces - and drew level seven minutes later.
Japan failed to deal with a corner and Moosavi scrambled in an equaliser, drilling a low effort beyond Gonda.
Japan soon went in front again when Nagai curled in his second from the edge of the box after 32 minutes.
But Iran were presented with another opportunity to level when Gonda brought down Jalalaldin in the area.
The goalkeeper was shown a yellow card and Iran were awarded a penalty which Jalalaldin opted to take himself.
The forward sent Gonda the wrong way but hit the outside of the post as Japan earned a reprieve to take a slim advantage at the interval.
Both teams started the second half tentatively, with the midfields sitting deeper to protect their back four.
Haji Safi unlocked the Japan defence with a brilliant run after 58 minutes.
The playmaker drifted past two players to create an opening on the edge of the area and beat Gonda with a terrific left-foot shot which came back off the inside of the upright and allowed Japan to clear the danger.
Iran continued to try to find openings but Japan crowded them out at the edge of the penalty area and played on the counter attack.
The tactic worked as Nagai brought down a long pass from Yamamoto and passed the ball across goal into the bottom corner to seal the contest.
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