Host nation Japan replaced seven of the players who had faced the DPR Korea (DPRK), switching from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3. With KONNO Yasuyuki acting as the midfield fulcrum, Japan threatened China PR’s robust back five with approaches including aerial passes to forward KOBAYASHI Yu. With OHSHIMA Ryota suffering an injury during the first half, Japan brought on IDEGUCHI Yousuke, who had scored the winner against the DPRK. The hosts gradually regained their rhythm, but headed into the second half unable to make anything of their chances.
Having started on the left wing of head coach Marcello LIPPI’s 5-2-3 formation, China PR’s YU Dabao was moved to the center. When his team created a chance on the right side, he was able to break free with a one-two pass, only to be thwarted by a big save from goalkeeper HIGASHIGUCHI Masaaki. Japan head coach Vahid Halilhodžić brought KAWAMATA Kengo onto his forward line. In the 84th minute, although he was initially stopped by the goalkeeper, KOBAYASHI, who picked up a loose ball, spun around and produced the long-awaited goal with a left-footed shot. Right after a KOBAYASHI’s goal, defender SHOJI Gen won the ball in a high position, and his long shot sailed over the keeper for a goal, stretching Japan's lead to two. A moment of carelessness in second-half extra time resulted in a penalty kick that was converted by YU Dabao, but Japan claimed their second straight victory to put themselves in first place. In their next match, they will face the Korea REP. for the championship