Asian Cup 2019: Japan vs Oman- 3 Reasons Why the Blue Samurais Defeated Al-Ahmar
Japan pipped Oman 1-0 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi in their Group F encounter of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Following this win, the Blue Samurais became the ninth team to qualify for the Round of 16 after Jordan, China PR, South Korea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE. Oman's hopes of qualifying for the next round hasn't been vanquished yet as they can get through as one of the four best third-placed teams.
According to the referee, Oman's Raed Saleh brought down Japan's Genki Haraguchi inside the penalty box in the 28th minute which the Hannover 96 player converted successfully. That goal was enough to inflict the Gulf side a loss, who otherwise produced a valiant effort to ensure the result goes in their favor.
Oman's goalkeeper Faiz Al-Rushaidi, in particular, was superb in between the sticks as he saved 7 shots on target. If it weren't for him, Japan could have thrashed them with a heavier scoreline.
Nevertheless, the contest was a close one, but these three reasons eluded Oman a victory and awarded Japan the three points.
#3 Ritsu Doan's wonderful play on the right wing
Japan's Ritsu Doan was the second youngest player on the pitch but showed the most maturity when the ball was on his feet. The fact that 46.3% of Japan's attacks came from the right wing speaks volumes of his ability as he was the commander-in-chief for that half of the pitch.
In the 2nd minute, he dribbled past the Omani left back and gave an incisive grounding pass towards Genki Haraguchi in the center of the box which hit the crossbar. In the 24th minute, he latched on a rebound after the goalkeeper saved Takumi Minamino's shot but it was blocked away by their center back.
Two minutes later, his incisive through ball sent Takumi Minamino one-on-one with the goalkeeper but, his effort was saved. Genki Haraguchi tried to capitalize on the rebound but a penalty was awarded to him after the referee deemed that he was brought down inside the penalty box.