Japan undo plucky Cuba
© Foto-net

Japan face a battle with Russia on Wednesday to see who will emerge as the second placed team in Group A following the former's 4-1 victory over Cuba.

The Asians almost took the lead as early as the eighth second when Yusuke Inada forced a good save from Wilfredo Carbo. The veteran keeper, the oldest player in the competition, also denied Inada two minutes later as well as Rikarudo Higa and Yusuke Komiyama inside the opening 15 minutes.

Despite Japan's domination, it was Cuba who took the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute; Yampier Rodriguez with an inch-perfect lob over the goalkeeper. The goal rocked Japan who were fortunate not to concede another when Boris Saname's shot rattled the post shortly before half-time.

Carbo again frustrated his opponents with some fine goalkeeping, but was powerless to stop Nobuya Osodo's shot in the 24th minute which crept between his legs. Two minutes later, Japan were in front through Kotaro Inaba and the Japan No11 played a key role in Japan's final two goals.

First Inaba's thunderous effort was spilled by Carbo into the path of Yuki Kanayama, who made it 3-1 and then he turned goalscorer with six minutes remaining when Inada provided the assist.