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Published on Nov 1, 2010
Tashkent: Takumi Minamino was once again the star of the show as the striker scored a brace to help Japan ease into the semi-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship with a 3-1 victory over Iraq at JAR Stadium on Monday.
The Cerezo Osaka youngster continued his impressive record of having scored in every game he has started in Tashkent with the opener after 12 minutes.
Iraq quickly equalised through Hussain Al Fuadi but Japan took control in the second half with a Hiroki Akino strike and another from Minamino sealing the East Asians' passage into the last four and also booking their place at next year's FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Minamino, meanwhile, is well on course to claim the personal accolade of the tournament's top scorer with his two goals taking his tally to five overall.
Hirofumi Yoshitake's side were quick out of the blocks and took the lead inside the 12th minute when Minamino -- back in the side after being rested for Japan's final group game -- latching onto a cross from Yumemi Kanda and dispatching a clinical strike into the back of the net.
But Iraq showed great resolve to restore parity just seven minutes later when Haider Khudhair cleverly fed a pass into the path of Al Fuadi and the striker lashed a shot home from close range.