Qatar secure late draw
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Asian Cup holders Japan were shocked in their opening game against Qatar.Asian Cup holders Japan were shocked in their opening game against Qatar, as they conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Japan had looked to be in control when they took the lead just past the hour mark, only for Uruguay-born Sebastian Quintana to snatch a leveller with just two minutes remaining.
Yasuyuki Konno was the architect of Japan's opener, as his pin-point delivery was clinically dispatched by Eintracht Frankfurt striker Naohiro Takahara.
His 20th goal in 48 international appearances was not, though, enough to secure his side victory, as Quintana's deflected free-kick stole Qatar a share of the spoils.
Yuki Abe's clumsy foul was penalised by a free-kick on the edge of the area, and from the resulting set-piece, Japan goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi was beaten from 25 yards courtesy of a deflection.
In stoppage time Qatar's Hussain Yaser was shown a red card but even his dismissal failed to ruin coach Dzemaludin Musovic's day.
"Of course Japan won't be happy with the result," he concluded.
"But we deserved to take a point and I think we can be a danger to any team in the tournament now."
Celtic and Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura admitted the mood in his side's camp was somewhat despondent.
"We were in control and it was just a sense of 'ugh!' when they scored.
"We need to learn to finish the game off with a second goal."