By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters) – Ritsu Doan scored a second-half penalty awarded by the newly-introduced video assistant referee (VAR) to give Japan a 1-0 win over Vietnam in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup on Thursday.
FC Groningen’s Doan drove the ball into the bottom left corner, beating Vietnam’s Russian-born goalkeeper Dang Van Lam who had guessed the right way after the spot kick was awarded in dramatic fashion shortly before the hour mark.
Appeals for a foul on Japan’s Maya Yoshida in the box were initially dismissed by the referee, only for him to change his mind after a VAR review, with the technology being introduced into the tournament from the last-eight stage onwards.
Japan survived a late onslaught from the Vietnamese with Nguyen Cong Phuong in particular missing an opportunity to equalise in the 89th minute when he found himself unmarked just outside the box but blasted the ball over.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Christian Radnedge)