The chance came suddenly-4 minutes into the match, Ogasawara intercepted a pass and quickly fed the ball forward. Kubo reacted immediately and shot from the center inside the penalty area. The ball bounced off the goalkeeper, and Kubo drove it right in to seize the first goal of the match, also his first goal as a national team member. The goal lifted Japan's spirits and Ogasawara consecutively produced opportunities for Japan.
In the 19th minute, China PR replaced Ji Mingyi with Liu Jindong, who marked Ogasawara. This tactic enabled China PR to dominate in center field, and after the 20th minute China PR took over control of the game. Yang Pu broke through on the left side, producing several opportunities for China PR, while Li Yi led the offense and threatened Japan's goal more than once.
At half time, Japan's coach, Zico, instructed his men to pass the ball quickly to dodge the opponent's pressure. Japan regained control of the game in the second half.
In the 61st minute, Kubo received a pass from Yamada and, shaking off the defender, attempted a crushing right-foot shot. That was only the start of Japan's consecutive goal attempts. In the 63rd minute, Kubo tried again but the ball hit the goal post. In the 76th minute, a heel pass from Santos went to Okubo, but the shot hit the goal post again. In the 80th minute, Ogasawara intercepted the ball and quickly released it to Motoyama, who just substituted Okubo. Motoyama delivered the ball forward at just the right moment, and there was not a single defender between Kubo and the goalkeeper. Kubo calmly tipped the ball in and gave Japan their second and deciding goal.
After the match, Coach Zico commented, "In the first half, we had a difficult time because the pressure from China PR was great, but winning under such pressure gives us confidence and momentum."