Japan crashes out of Asian U-23 tournament after Uzbekistan rout


Japan’s bid for a second-straight Asian Football Confederation Under-23 championship ended on Friday in a 4-0 quarterfinal loss to Uzbekistan.

Fielding a team of players 21 and under who will be eligible to play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, manager Hajime Moriyasu’s youngsters surrendered three first-half goals in quick succession.

Japan had allowed only one goal en route to finishing 3-0 in Group B, but fell apart defensively against Group A runner-up Uzbekistan, which had beaten it in December.

“We came into the game wanting revenge, but our opponents outclassed us in every facet of the game,” midfielder Shion Inoue said.