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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Japan/Iran into semis
Japan 1-1 Jordan
(Japan win 4-3 on penalties)

Holders Japan defeated Jordan in a controversial penalty shoot-out to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Cup.

A protest by Japan resulted in a change of ends, while goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi made two stunning saves to earn his team a semi-final tie against Bahrain on Tuesday.

Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki gave his team a 14th-minute lead after Mahmoud Shelbaieh's header had put his team in front.

Asian Cup semi-finals
3 August:
Bahrain v Japan 1000 GMT
China v Iran 1300 GMT

The shoot-out exploded into controversy after Japan demanded a switch of ends after missing their opening two spot-kicks, leaving Jordan fuming.

Jordan squandered three penalties that would have won them the match after Malaysian referee Mohd Subkhiddin ordered the change of goals.

Jordan's Egyptian coach Mahmoud El Gohary said the decision had cost his team victory.

"We need to have the players full concentration when they are taking the penalty kicks, but the referee switched the ends and we lost our concentration," complained El Gohary.

"I have never seen the switch of the goal mouths in the penalty kicks just because the other side demanded it. We tried to move it back but they said no."

And Japan coach Zico admitted he was surprised by the referee's decision.

"I've never seen a referee change sides during the penalty shoot-out, but the referee is the final judge and we should obey his decision," Zico said.

Asian Football Confederation officials told AFP that damage to the penalty spot on the disputed side led to the decision to change sides.


South Korea 3-4 Iran

Ali Karimi scored a hat-trick as Iran defeated South Korea to seal a semi-final match against Bahrain in the Asian Cup.

Karimi scored two headers in the first 18 minutes in front of a capacity crowd in Jinan.

He completed his hat-trick with 13 minutes left, slotting in a cross from Mehdi Mahdavikia.

South Korean defender Park Jin-sul scored a crucial own goal.

Seol Ki-hyeon scored South Korea's first goal after 16 minutes, Lee Dong-gook grabbed a goal in the 25th, and Kim Nam-il scored in the 68th.




SEE ALSO
Bahrain/China into semis
30 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Jordan seal quarter-final spot
27 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Exit for Saudis after loss
26 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Xu sends China into last eight
25 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Nosrati saves Iran blushes
24 Jul 04  |  Internationals
China thrash Indonesia
21 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Iran overcome Thailand
20 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Jordan frustrate Korea
20 Jul 04  |  Internationals
Indonesia shock Qatar
18 Jul 04  |  Internationals


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