Japan secured a quarterfinal place at the under-23 Asian Cup men's football tournament with a 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Japan's second win in as many games guaranteed that they will finish in the top two with South Korea in four-team Group B at the qualifying event for this summer's Paris Olympics.

After Japan manager Go Oiwa made seven changes to his starting eleven from Tuesday's 1-0 opening win over China, Seiji Kimura and Sota Kawasaki scored with headers in the 27th and 66th minutes, respectively, at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

Sota Kawasaki (R) heads home Japan's second goal against the United Arab Emirates in their under-23 Asian Cup football group-stage match on April 19, 2024, at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. (Kyodo)

"We had created many chances with crosses, so I knew our second goal was coming," said Kawasaki, who headed in a cross from Ayumu Ohata, leaving UAE goalkeeper Khaled Tawhid stranded.

Japan, bidding for their eighth consecutive Olympic appearance, will close out the group stage Monday against South Korea, who beat China 2-0 earlier Friday thanks to a brace from Lee Young Jun.

China and the UAE were eliminated after both suffered back-to-back defeats.

The top three finishers at the 16-team tournament earn tickets to Paris. The fourth-place side will still have a chance to qualify via a playoff against Guinea on May 9 in France.

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