Uzbekistan and Japan secure qualification for Olympic Games

Mao Hosoya scored the opener and Japan never looked back in beating Iraq in the Asian Cup semifinals. Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images

Uzbekistan and Japan secured two of Asia's three berths at this year's Olympic Games football tournament with wins over Indonesia and Iraq respectively at the Under-23 Asian Cup in Qatar.

Uzbekistan sealed a 2-0 semifinal win against the Indonesians to confirm their first appearance at the Games since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Husain Norchaev put Timur Kapadze's side in front with a volleyed finish from close range in the 68th minute before Pratama Arhan's late own goal confirmed Uzbekistan's progress to both the Olympics and the Under-23 Asian Cup final.

They will next take on a Japan side that handed Iraq a 2-0 defeat at Doha's Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, with Mao Hosoya and Ryotaro Araki scoring in the 28th and 42nd minutes respectively.

That win means Japan maintain their record of qualifying for every Olympics since 1996.

Uzbekistan, winners of the Asian Under-23 title in 2018, will face Japan on Friday in the final, while Indonesia and Iraq meet on Thursday for Asia's third confirmed berth in Paris.

The losers of that Olympic playoff will enter into a final eliminator against Guinea, the fourth place finisher in Africa's qualifying tournament, on May 9 for the final spot at the Games.