Late goal earns Qatar surprise draw with Japan

Hanoi, July 9:

Qatar stunned defending champions Japan with a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw in their Asian Cup opener on Monday, but it ended on a sour note with Hussain Yaser and coach Dzemaludin Musovic sent off.

It was an uninspiring start to Japan’s bid for a third straight continental title. They looked to have three points in the bag after Frankfurt striker Naohiro Takahara broke the deadlock in the 61st minute. But Uruguayan-born Sebastian Soria equalised two minutes from time. It means unfancied hosts Vietnam find themselves at the top of Group B after upsetting Gulf Cup champions United Arab Emirates 2-0 on Sunday.