Iran eliminate Japan from Asian Cup after Jahanbakhsh nets late penalty

International Sports

Iran knocked four-times champions Japan out of the Asian Cup with a 2-1 victory in their quarter-final clash after skipper Alireza Jahanbakhsh converted a penalty in stoppage time at Education City Stadium on Saturday.

With the match between Asia’s top-two ranked sides tied at 1-1, Iran won a penalty in the fourth minute of added time and Jahanbakhsh stepped up to blast the ball into the top corner, drawing a loud roar from the Iranian fans in the arena.

The victory also saw Iran avenge their 2019 semi-final loss to Japan and when the final whistle blew, the Iranian bench emptied onto the pitch and an emotional Jahanbakhsh dropped to the turf in relief while many players wept tears of joy.

Iran, who are seeking a record-equalling fourth Asian Cup title, had not beaten Japan in 19 years while their victory also extended Amir Ghalenoei’s unbeaten streak to 16 matches since he took charge in March.

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