Brussels: AFC Asian Cup holders Japan claimed a notable European scalp on Tuesday when they came from a goal down to defeat fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers Belgium 3-2 in an international friendly played in the Belgian capital.
Having rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with the Netherlands on Saturday the four-time Asian champions again found themselves playing catch-up after Romelu Lukaku rounded Japan keeper Eji Kawishima to give Everton team-mate Kevin Mirallas the simplest of tap ins with 15 minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium played.
Yoichiro Kakitani headed Japan on level terms with eight minutes of the first-half left to play before Keisuke Honda turned the match in favour of the East Asians with a powerful drive eight minutes after the interval.
Shinji Okazaki added a third ten minutes later and while Toby Alderweireld reduced the deficit in the 79th minute Japan held out for an impressive win over a nation ranked number five in FIFA’s global list.
Riyadh: Bunyodkor coach Aleksandr Volkov was magnanimous in his praise of Al Hilal after the Saudi club knocked the Uzbek champions out of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over his team in the Round of 16.
Ahvaz: Psychology is crucial for Al Sadd head coach Hussain Amotta as he prepares his side for Wednesday night’s second leg against Iranian champions Foolad Khouzestan in the AFC Champions League round of 16.