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2020 Olympic Men's Football, Quarterfinals
Japan U23 advance 4-2 on penalties
Japan U23 advance 4-2 on penalties

Japan continue perfect Olympic record with penalty shooutout win over New Zealand

Hosts Japan displayed nerves of steel as they edged out New Zealand 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the men's Olympic football semifinals on Saturday.

After a goalless 120 minutes at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, New Zealand full back Liberato Cacace's penalty was saved by Kosei Tani and midfielder Clayton Lewis blasted his spot-kick over the bar.

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Captain Maya Yoshida made it four out of four from the spot as Japan booked a place in the Olympic semifinals for the first time since the London 2012 Games.

Japan are the only team to maintain a perfect record in the group stage and are now just one win away from securing a first medal in men's football since claiming bronze at the 1968 Games.

They will next face Spain, who ended their 21-year wait to reach the final four with a 5-2 win over Ivory Coast.

"We would've liked to have scored in the 90 minutes but New Zealand are a good team and really gave us a tough game," Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu told reporters.

"It's going to be a tough game in the semifinals, but we will stick together as a unit and battle it out to the death and try and reach the final."