Reigning champions Japan strolled confidently into the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup with a 2-0 victory over an outclassed Jordan in their final Group D match.

Despite winning their first two games, Japan still needed a point at the Rectangular Stadium to win the group and set up a quarter-final against United Arab Emirates in Sydney on Friday.

Striker Keisuke Honda gave them the halftime lead with his third goal in three games at the tournament and Shinji Kagawa added the second eight minutes from time.

Jordan needed an upset victory to have any realistic chance of progressing but were starved of possession before the break and ran out of steam after a strong start to the second half.

Elsewhere, talismanic striker Younis Mahmoud was on target but also missed a penalty as Iraq overcame a stubborn Palestine 2-0 to set up a quarter-final with old rivals Iran.

The 2007 champions were not at their best but goals by Mahmoud and a late second from Ahmed Yaseen sent them through from Group D as runners-up behind Japan.


Jan 22 - South Korea v Uzbekistan, Melbourne
Jan 22 - China v Australia, Brisbane 
Jan 23 - Iran v Iraq, Canberra 
Jan 23 - Japan v United Arab Emirates, Sydney

Source: Reuters