AFC U23 Championships

Hosoya and Araki Sends Japan to U-23 Asian Cup Final

Japan secured their place in the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup final with a commanding 2-0 victory over Iraq at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Monday, thanks to first-half goals from Mao Hosoya and Ryotaro Araki. The win also guaranteed Japan’s participation in this year’s Paris Olympics.

In a dominant display, Go Oiwa’s side showcased their quality, with captain Joel Fujita leading the charge. Hosoya broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, skillfully controlling Fujita’s pass before slotting home. Araki doubled the lead 14 minutes later, capitalizing on another exquisite through ball from Fujita.

Japan’s control continued into the second half, with Hosoya and his teammates pressing for a third goal. Despite Iraq’s attempts to rally, Japan maintained their dominance, hitting the woodwork through Hosoya and denying Iraq any significant chances.

The victory marked Japan’s second appearance in the AFC U23 Asian Cup final, highlighting their strength and determination. With their spot in the final secured, Japan also earned the opportunity to represent Asia at the Paris Olympics.