AFC Asian Cup 2019: 3 reasons why Japan beat Saudi Arabia
- Takehiro Tomiyasu scored in the 20th minute as Japan set up a quarterfinal with Vietnam
#2 Saudia Arabia's weak finishing despite dominating the midfield
Saudi Arabia had been so dominant in the starting 20 minutes that it was obvious they would convert any minute, but football is a funny game. In spite of having the lion’s share of possession in the entire game and playing the more eye-pleasing football, they managed to get only one shot on target.
Saudi Arabia had made efficient use of the wings, but it was a rather blunt display from the forwards, especially their star striker Fahad Al Muwallad.
A series of free-kicks from a similar position near the sidelines down the right were wasted by the Saudis in the first half. Although the delivery was promising, there was no one to head it inside the net on the receiving side.
Saudi Arabia looked vulnerable when Japan went on the counter, often leaving them huge spaces to create danger for themselves. Japan exactly took advantage of this weak point, scoring the opener in the 20th minute. Till then, Saudi Arabia had more than 70% of the possession!Published 21 Jan 2019, 19:02 IST