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Iran clinch fourth gold

Busan: Defending champions Iran won the Asian Games menís football title for the fourth time with a 2-1 win over Japan on Sunday with second-half goals from Javad Kazemeyan and Mohsen Bayatiniya.

Kazemeyan pounced on a mix-up between Hikaru Mita and substitute Takeshi Aoki to rifle home a right-foot shot from the edge of the box three minutes into the second half at the Asiad Main Stadium.

It was his first goal of the tournament.

Two minutes from full-time, Bayatiniya capitalised on another blunder from Aoki to beat goalkeeper Takaya Kurokawa with a right-foot shot from 25 metres.

Moments later, striker Satoshi Nakayama converted a Tatsuya Tanaka cross from close range to set up a tense finish but Iran survived to add to the Asian Games titles they won in 1974, 1990 and 1998.

The Iranians were adventurous against the World Cup co-hosts with Moharram Navidkia and Javad Nekounam superb in midfield.

Although Iran had been forced to work hard in the first half by a Japan side contesting their first Asian Games final, they totally dominated the second period.

Two minutes after Kazemeyan had opened the scoring, Navidkia struck the post with a fierce drive from 25 metres as Iran came out with real purpose after the interval.

Japan nearly fell further behind when a dipping left-wing cross from midfielder Ali Badavi almost caught out Kurokawa.

Earlier, South Korea beat Thailand 3-0 in Ulsan to win the bronze medal.

Park Dong-hyuk, Lee Chun-soo and Choi Tae-uk were on target as South Korea went one better than they did at the World Cup.

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