Asian Games 2018: Malaysia suffer late heartbreak against Japan

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Malaysia’s Asian Games 2018 campaign came to a heartbreaking end on Friday evening as they were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Japan in the Round of 16.

Producing a valiant effort against their more-illustrious opponents at the Patriot Stadium, Malaysia looked to have done enough to take the game into extra-time after holding Japan at bay for almost the entire 90 minutes.

But, with a minute remaining, the Young Tigers conceded a debatable penalty when Dominic Tan was adjudged to have shoved Ayase Ueda in the back as he was about to pull the trigger, although replays showed that contact had been slight.

It was Ueda who stepped up to the spot and he made no mistake in converting past Haziq Nadzli in the 90th minute, which proved enough to earn the Japanese the win and a place in the quarter-finals, where they will now meet Saudi Arabia.

In Friday evening’s other game, DPR Korea produced a dominant display to beat Bangladesh 3-1 at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium.

First-half goals by Kim Yu-song and Han Yong-thae put the North Koreans firmly in control of proceedings, before Kang Kuk-chol added a third in the 69th minute.

Saad Uddin pull one back for Bangladesh in the 91st minute but it proved little more than a consolation, as DPR Korea advanced to a last-eight clash with United Arab Emirates.

Photo credit: Asian Games 2018