Sports

AFC Asian Cup 2023: Japan Beat Bahrain, Enter QFs

Japan maintained their pursuit of a record-extending fifth AFC Asian Cup title on Wednesday by advancing to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win against Bahrain. The pre-tournament favourites have bounced back from a surprise 2-1 loss against Iraq in the group stage and will play either Iran or Syria in the next round. Goals from Ritsu Doan, Takefusa Kubo and Ayase Ueda secured Japan's place in the last eight, while Zion Suzuki's own goal was the only consolation for Bahrain. Japan went ahead in the 31st minute when Seiya Maikuma's long-range shot came back off the post and Doan converted on the rebound. Kubo doubled the lead four minutes into the second half when he spun and finished from close range.

AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Hussein Sayed

Japan's players celebrate their victory after the Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match between Japan and Bahrain at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Japan's Ayase Ueda, right, celebrates with Japan's Ritsu Doan after scoring his side's third goal during the Asian Cup Round of 16 soccer match between Bahrain and Japan, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Hussein Sayed

Japan's Takumi Minamino controls the ball during the Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match between Japan and Bahrain at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Hussein Sayed

Bahrain's Waleed Alhayam, foreground, duels for the ball with Japan's Takumi Minamino during the Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match between Japan and Bahrain at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Japan's goalkeeper Zion Suzuki, centre, scores an own goal during the Asian Cup Round of 16 soccer match between Bahrain and Japan, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Bahrain's Abdulla Yusuf, left, and Japan's Takehiro Tomiyasu jump for a header during the Asian Cup Round of 16 soccer match between Bahrain and Japan, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Bahrain's Mohamed Marhoon, right and Bahrain's Abdulla Yusuf yell during the Asian Cup Round of 16 soccer match between Bahrain and Japan, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Hussein Sayed

Bahrain's Waleed Alhayam, right, and Japan's Hidemasa Morita, left, compete during their Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Bahrain's Ali Madan, centre, is challenged by Japan's Seiya Maikuma, right and Japan's Wataru Endo during the Asian Cup Round of 16 soccer match between Bahrain and Japan, at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan
AFC Asian Cup 2023: Bahrain vs Japan Photo: AP/Hussein Sayed

Japan's Seiya Maikuma, left, and Bahrain's Mahdi Humaidan view for the ball during their Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

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