Tosu: Japan made a winning start to their Group C campaign in the third round of AFC Asian Qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday when Takashi Sekizuka's side defeated a hard-working Malaysia 2-0.
Hiroshi Kiyotake, who scored twice in Cerezo Osaka's 4-3 AFC Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, provided the assist for Keigo Higashi to score Japan's opener in the tenth minute.
Japan dominated the first-half and might have went into the break with a more commanding lead then the Omiya Ardija's early strike had it not been for the superb form of Malaysia keeper and captain Khairul Fahmi.
The Kelantan custodian was finally beaten for a second time in the 77th minute when substitute Ryohei Yamazaki, who came on to replace goal scorer Higashi in the 68th minute, side-footed home after Kensuke Nagai's knocked the ball into the path of the Jubilo Iwata forward.
The 2010 Asian Games champions are next in action on November 22 when they travel to Bahrain while Malaysia entertain Syria in Kuala Lumpur a day later.