Qatari players celebrate their victory (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Japan conceded two goals in the first half, but they dominated the match in the second half. Their successive attacks helped them pull back a goal, narrowing the deficit. However, Qatar's counterattack earned the side a penalty which was turned into a goal, thwarting Japan's hope.

Qatar reached the final after crushing the host UAE 4-0 in the second semi-final on January 29th, while Japan defeated the tournament’s favourites Iran 3-0 one day earlier.

Vietnam's odyssey at the continental tourney thrilled the hearts of millions of fans back home, and won praises from both fans and commentators, although they lost 0-1 to Japan the first quarterfinal match on January 24th.

According to Fox Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan, the Vietnamese team concluded their journey at the Asian Cup with glory and pride.

They have proven that they belong to Asia’s biggest stage, he said, adding that such players as Nguyen Quang Hai, Nguyen Cong Phuong and Doan Van Hau could possibly be good enough to play in Europe in a few years’ time. However, they can be the kings of Southeast Asia at present./.

CPV/VNA