NIIGATA, Japan, Aug 17 (AFP): Defending champions Japan scraped a 2-0 victory against Yemen Wednesday in an Asian Cup qualifier, their first official win under new coach Ivica Osim.
Midfielder Yuki Abe broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, heading in a corner from Alessandro Santos.
Striker Hisato Sato put the result beyond doubt a minute into injury time, smacking home a rebound off Yemen goalkeeper Salem Saeed who fumbled a Santos freekick.
The three-time Asian Cup winners are now joint leaders of Group A on six points with Saudi Arabia, who thumped India 3-0 earlier Wednesday. Japan thrashed the Indians 6-0 in February, giving them no chance of qualifying.
Japan play Saudi Arabia away on September 3 and three days later face Yemen at home.