South Korea have won their third East Asia Cup title after China’s hopes were ended with a 1-1 draw against Japan on Sunday.
A win for Alain Perrin’s men would have seen China leapfrog South Korea at the top of the standings and claim the trophy, but in the end they came up short despite taking an early lead.
Wu Lei put China ahead with 10 minutes played, firing in via a helpful deflection to fill home supporters with great optimism.
But defending champions Japan restored parity just before the break, Urawa Reds striker Yuki Muto steering in Koki Yonekura’s fine left-wing cross.
Muto almost added a second in the 71st minute, but he was thwarted when one-on-one with Wang Dalei and the match ultimately ended level, handing South Korea – who drew 1-1 with North Korea earlier in the day – their third East Asia title.
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