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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Iran overcome Thailand
Ali Daei (left) scored Iran's third goal
Daei (left) was on target for Iran
Iran 3-0 Thailand

Iran scored three late goals to defeat injury-hit Thailand in their opening Asia Cup Group D match.

Reza Enayati opened the scoring for three-times Asia Cup champions Iran on 71 minutes after a neat cutback by playmaker Ali Karimi.

Javad Nekounam doubled Iran's lead with 10 minutes left, heading home Mehdi Mahdavikia free-kick.

Ali Daei concluded the scoring after 87 minutes with a penalty - and in doing so notched his 95th international goal.

In the first half Asian Footballer of the Year Mahdavikia had several shots at the Thailand goal but was thwarted by goalkeeper Kosin Hathairatankul.

Japan 1-0 Oman

Japan narrowly defeated tournament debutants Oman in a tight game in the sweltering heat of Chongqing.

Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura shown the only goal of the game with a well-taken finish after 34 minutes.

But Japan's defensive tactics almost cost them and Zico's team had to withstand a late surge from their opponents.

Striker Imad Ali came very close to an equaliser in injury-time with a glancing header that went just wide of Japan goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi's goal.

"I'm satisfied because we got three points," said Japan's Brazilian coach Zico afterwards. "We are the defending champions.

"Maybe the second half was too defensive, but our strategy was like this."

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