DOHA: Japan won the AFC Under 23 championship with a thrilling victory in Doha on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) overturning a two-goal deficit to stun South Korea 3-2.
The winner came in the 81st minute from substitute Takuma Asano, with a smart finish when through on the Korean goal.
Asano had started the comeback, scoring Japan’s first in the 67th minute, after they trailed 2-0 early on in the second half.
Within a minute of Asano’s first, Japan were level after Yajima struck.
It was heartbreaking for the Koreans who had taken the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to a deflected shot from Kwon Chang-hoon.
Then a brilliant turn and finish by Jin Seong-uk in the 47th minute doubled their advantage, but the match proved far from over.
Both teams qualified for the Rio Olympics later this year after getting through to the final of the two-week long championship held in Qatar.
Iraq finished third and was the other team to qualify for Rio.
Hosts Qatar agonizingly finished in fourth position, just outside the Olympics qualification places.