Toyota, Japan, Jun 20: Hiroshi Kiyotake scored one goal and set up another as Japan defeated Kuwait 3-1 in the first match of a two-leg Olympic qualifying tie on Sunday.
Cerezo Osaka midfielder Kiyotake was left unmarked in front of the Kuwait goal and headed home Yusuke Koga's cross in the 18th minute to give the hosts the lead.
"It was important to get off to a good start," said Kiyotake. "We were able to establish momentum early and that should help us in the next match."
Defender Mizuki Hamada doubled it in the 37th minute with a header from Kiyotake's corner kick.
Yuya Osaka made it 3-0 in the 61st minute but Jaber Jazea reduced Japan's lead seven minutes later with what could be a crucial away goal for Maher Alshemmari's side.
The second leg of the home-and-away contest is on Thursday.
Elsewhere, Australia defeated Yemen 3-0 in Gosford, Australia, thanks to two goals from striker Jason Hoffman.
Mitch Nichols also scored to give Australia a buffer to take into the second leg.
Australia had several off-target shots before Hoffman headed home Sebastian Ryall's cross in the 14th minute. Nichols added the second from close range in the 67th minute and Hoffman netted the third in stoppage time.
In Seoul, South Korea defeated Jordan 3-1.
Midfielder Yoon Bitgaram scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 75th minute and Kim Dong-sub added a header 10 minutes later.
Mahmoud Saleem Mahmoud Za'tara opened the scoring for the visitors just before halftime. Kim Tae-hwan equalized early in the second half for South Korea, which is seeking its seventh consecutive Olympic appearance.
Ali Ahmed Al Hajeri scored in the second half to lead the United Arab Emirates to a 1-0 win over North Korea at Kim II Sung Stadium.In Shanghai, Al Hadhri Farah scored just four minutes in to lead Oman to a 1-0 win over China.The winners of the ties advance to the group stage from which three teams will qualify to represent Asia at next year's London Olympics. Ap