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Japan opens Asian Cup with 4-0 win over Palestine in Group D

Defending Asian Cup champion Japan opens with 4-0 win to spoil Palestine's debut in Group D


Australia AFC Asia Cup Soccer


NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) -- Defending champion Japan won its first match of this year's Asian Cup, beating newcomer Palestine 4-0 Monday in its opening Group D match.

Yasuhito Endo, Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke Honda scored in the first half to give Japan a big lead against the tournament debutants in wet and windy conditions at Hunter Stadium.

Maya Yoshida scored after the break from Shinji Kagawa's cross to complete the rout.

Ahmed Mahajna was sent off mid-way through the second half to make it a tough first tournament start for the Palestinians, who qualified by winning the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives.

Japan has won four Asian Cup titles in the past six editions and is seeking a record fifth continental crown in Australia.

Updated : 2021-09-20 21:17 GMT+08:00