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Japan Wins Asian Cup Championship - 2004-08-07


Japan has defeated host China, 3-1, in an emotionally charged football (soccer) match to retain the Asian Cup.

The loss was especially crushing because it came before a full house at Beijing's Workers Stadium and turned on a controversial goal.

Japan's Koji Nakata broke a one-all tie in the 65th minute off a corner kick, but replays appear to show he knocked the ball home with his hand.

But the referee let the goal stand and Japan's Keiji Tamada secured the victory by scoring in injury time.

Veteran striker Li Ming scored the host country's one goal, but the defeat shattered China's dream of its first ever Asian Cup final victory.

Nationalistic tensions threatened to overshadow the match that began under tight security, with Chinese fans jeering throughout the Japanese national anthem.

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