Saudis to join Iraq in final

Saudi Arabia prevail over Japan in a five goal thrilling Asian Cup semi-final.

    Saudi Arabian forward Malek Maaz scored the
    decisive goal against Japan [AFP]

    Saudi Arabia's Malek Maaz struck twice as his side defeated two-time defending champions Japan 3-2 in Hanoi to set up an all West Asian final of the Asian Cup.

    Striker Yasser Al Qahtani opened the score for Saudi Arabia at the 35th minute with a semi volley from 11 meters.

    Abdulrahman Al Qahtani fired the ball from a free kick into the penalty area and the Al Hilal club striker made no mistake slotting the loose ball with a powerful semi volley.

    In a goal shy tournament it opened the floodgates.

    Yuji Nakazawa equalised for Japan two minutes later with a powerful header from Yasuhito Endo's corner kick.

    Maaz then put the Saudis back into lead again with a header two minutes after the break.

    Ahmed Al Bahri broke to the right and made a good cross that found Malek's path.

    Japanese team put pressure on the Saudis and quickly found an equaliser six minutes later.

    Yuki Abe acrobatic volley from close range gave Japan the equalizer.

    Eintracht Frankfurt striker Naohiro Takahara's header from Endo's corner kick found Abe in the box.

    Malek put the Saudis ahead again at the 57th minute when he beat two Japanese defenders before firing the ball past goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi from close range.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.