DUBAI: Uzbekistan sent a compelling message to the rest of Asia with a convincing 4-0 victory over their Group F opponents Turkmenistan on Sunday to seal their place in the knockout rounds of the Asian Cup.

The Central Asians will now battle Japan for top spot on January 17 in Al Ain.

The Japanese needed Genki Haraguchi’s 28th-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win over Oman and clinch their own place in the knockout stage.

The result also meant Japan – excluding penalty shoot-outs – extended their record of only losing once in their last 30 games at the AFC Asian Cup.

In Group E Almoez Ali scored four goals to equal the most goals scored in a single match at the Asian Cup as Qatar clinched a dominant 6-0 win over North Korea and book their own place in the knockout rounds.