ABU DHABI:  Oman advanced to the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time after defeating Turkmenistan 3-1 in a Group F match at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Oman’s reward for sealing a spot in the UAE 2019 knockout stage for the first time in four appearances at the Finals is a meeting with either Group C winners Korea Republic or Islamic Republic of Iran, who topped Group D.

With the top two spots in the group not within reach, Japan finishing as group winners with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan, both sides were playing for third place which a win by two goals would seal.

Turkmenistan had produced a gritty performance in their opener before going 3-2 down to Japan but found Uzbekistan too strong as they fell 4-0. Oman, meanwhile, suffered one goal defeats to both – 2-1 to Uzbekistan and 1-0 to Japan.

Also in Group F Japan came from behind to win 2-1 against Uzbekistan thanks to a powerful header from Yoshinori Muto and a stunning long-range effort from Tsukasa Shiotani at Al Ain on Thursday, as the four-time AFC Asian Cup champions head to the Round of 16 as Group F winners.

There was heartbreak for Lebanon despite coming from behind to defeat North Korea 4-1 in their final Group E match at the Sharjah Stadium as victory was not enough to take them through to the knockout stage. Qatar went through as group winners.