GUANGZHOU // The UAE frequently controlled the pace in the Asian Games soccer finals this afternoon, with their short, quick game, but ultimately lost 0-1 to the pre-match favourites, Japan.
Yuki Saneto scored midway through the second half, and Japan then fended off numerous attacks by the UAE to take its first Asian Games title.
The young Japanese squad had been favourites to win but were subdued for much of the match, depending on long passes and counter-attacks to create opportunities.
Saneto latched onto a floating cross from the left and rifled a right-foot shot from an acute angle past UAE goalkeeper Ali Khaseif Housani.
Japan won all seven of their games in Guangzhou and conceded just one goal.
South Korea won the bronze medal match earlier 4-3 over Iran earlier Thursday, with substitute Ji Dong-won scoring twice in the final two minutes for the win.