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20190124 Yoshinori Muto Japan.jpg

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Suspended Mutō misses Japan's quarter-final win

Yoshinori Muto’s Japan booked their place in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup on Thursday – but the Newcastle United striker missed their 1-0 win over Vietnam through suspension.

The Blue Samurai maintained their 100 per cent record in this year’s competition thanks to Ritsu Doan’s 57th minute effort, which made sure of four-time champions Japan’s place in the last four.

But forward Muto, who played in three of his country’s previous four fixtures in the tournament, had to sit out the last-eight clash and watch on as Hajime Moriyasu’s side prevailed at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

The result means Japan, who have won nine of their last ten Asian Cup matches, will now face either Iran or China in the semi-finals on Monday afternoon.

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