Japan also advanced as the Group D winners, finishing with six points – the same as Vietnam.

The Japanese target of Sunday’s game was clear – a win – as they were almost ahead in the opening minute, but Tomoki Yoshikawa was denied by goalkeeper Ho Van Y, who had only conceded two goals in Vietnam’s previous two matches. 

The bar and Y then denied two more attempts by the Japanese players.

While Vietnam struggled to get into threatening positions due to Japan’s man-to-man marking, Chau Doan Phat forced Higor Pires to make his first save of the match in the fourth minute with a crackling strike from distance.

Japan, dominating time of possession, eventually found the coveted opening goal when Kazuya Shimizu collected Kentaro Ishida’s cross at the edge of the box, before rounding past Y in the sixth minute.

Vietnam could not equalize by the break as Japan successfully kept the play at their pace.

Y continued to be the busier custodian in the second half, but could not save Vietnam from conceding the second goal in the 36th minute when Shimizu brilliantly struck home from an acute angle.

Despite asserting power play in the remainder, with keeper Y also attacking, Vietnam still saw Japan steal the 2-0 win. 

Japan will play Group C runners-up Indonesia in the quarterfinals while Vietnam will take on 12-time and defending champions Iran.

Iran thrashed Lebanon 9-0 to end their group-stage campaign with a perfect record of three wins on the same day whereas Indonesia defeated Taiwan 4-1 in the other Group C tie.

The AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 is taking place in Kuwait from September 27 to October 8.

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