MAYA Yoshida helped Japan come from behind to beat Turkmenistan 3-2 in their opening game at the Asian Cup.

The Saints defender is captaining his country in the United Arab Emirates, but Japan trailed to a 35-yard screamer that Arslanmurat Amanov fired into the top corner after cutting in from the left flank.

Two goals from Werder Bremen forward Yuya Osako gave Japan the lead and midfielder Ritsu Doan, 20, put them 3-1 up from the edge of the area.

An 80th-minute penalty gave the underdogs hope, but Japan secured the points on for a Yoshida will lead his country against Oman on Sunday before Japan complete the group stage against Uzbekistan next Thursday.

Japan are aiming for their fifth Asian Cup title and their first since 2011.

Yoshida, 30, has won 89 caps and will be unavailable for Saints until early February if Japan go all the way. If they do he would miss the next four Premier League games, but should be back for the six-pointer at home to Cardiff on February 9.