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Genki Haraguchi's penalty leads Japan to 1-0 victory over Oman


Genki Haraguchi (C) of Japan celebrates scoring with teammates during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 group F match between Oman and Japan in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Jan. 13, 2019. Japan won 1-0. (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)

ABU DHABI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Genki Haraguchi scored a first-half penalty as Japan advanced into the knockout stage with a 1-0 victory over Oman in the 2019 Asian Cup on Sunday.

Yuya Osako, who netted a double helping Japan beat Turkmenistan 3-2 in the first round, was absent with a hip injury. Japan came to open the score within two minutes, but Genki Haraguch's shot bounced off the crossbar.

Four-time Asian champions kept pressure on the forward but they met impressive Oman goalkeeper Faiyz Al Rusheidi, who made a string of saves to keep his side in the game.

Rusheidi made a brilliant double save in the 26th minute, denying Takumi Minamino's shot from the center of the box and following up to turn away a second attempt. However, Japan earned a controversial penalty two minutes later and Haraguchi gave the Blue Samurai the lead from the spot.

Japan were fortunate to escape a penalty just before the break when Yuto Nagatomo blocked Salaah Al-Yahyaei's shot with a clear handball as the referee was unmoved.

Both sides failed to create good chance in the second half as Japan won seven successive group stage games in the Asian Cup for the first time in history.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]