(Persia Digest) – The first semifinal match of the AFC cup will be played at 17h30 hours today Tehran time between Iran and Japan at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the UAE.
Iran and Japan are the two powerful teams of the Asian Continent who have always played sensitive, spectacular games together.
Iran’s Team Melli has reached the semifinals of the 17th AFC games without goals scored against it so far. It won Yemen 5-0, Vietnam 2-0, and drew against Iraq to climb to the top of its Group D in the playoffs. Iran beat Oman 2-0 in the round of 16 and crossed China’s wall 3-0 in the quarterfinals.
Japan has made it to the semifinals with goals scored against it, but together with Qatar they are the only two teams to have won all their matches. In the playoffs, Japan won Turkmenistan 3-2, Oman 1-0, and Uzbekistan 2-1 to make it to the top of its Group F and the round of 16. At this stage, it beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 to face Iran’s cheetahs in the semifinals.
Iran and Japan have so far played 16 matches against each other. Of these, Iran has won six, Japan five, with five draws.
Today’s decisive match can be faithful for Asia’s top team.
Currently, Japan is Asia’s top team with four title wins, whether it beats Iran or not. Even if does not win the cup it will keep its title.
But if Iran beats Japan in the semifinals and wins the title at the finals, it will catch up with Japan’s four title wins. Neither team have been the runners-up so far, but Iran has more third place wins that Japan. As such, Iran will become Asia’s top team.
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