Saturday, July 21, 2018

AFC World Cup qualifying wrap: Australia held, Japan cruise

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jun 2012


Australia began the final phase of AFC qualification for the 2014 World Cup with a scoreless draw against Oman in Muscat on Friday.

After chief rivals Japan thrashed Jordan 6-0 earlier on Friday to lead Group B with six points, Australia were keen to make a strong start to their own campaign, prior to a vital clash against the Blue Samurai in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Oman dominated most of the match and had a golden opportunity courtesy of Aman Al Hosni but Mark Schwarzer produced a remarkable save to keep scores level.

The Socceroos did have an opportunity of their own through lively substitute Archie Thompson, however his 82nd-minute attempt lacked power.

Paul Le Guen’s men were full value for their point and the Socceroos now return to Australia with plenty of work to do ahead of Tuesday’s clash against table-topping Japan at Suncorp Stadium.

Earlier, Keisuke Honda netted a hat-trick and Manchester United acquisition Shinji Kagawa also scored as Japan dominated Jordan 6-0.

Ryoichi Maeda broke the deadlock in the 19th minute before Honda doubled the hosts’ advantaged three minutes later.

Honda claimed his second and Japan’s third on 31 minutes, while Kagawa made it 4-0 with ten minutes remaining in the half.

Honda completed his hat-trick from the spot in the 54th minute and Yuzo Kurihara headed Japan’s sixth and final goal in the closing minutes to cap off a comprehensive victory.

In Goup A, Uzbekistan remain winless after two games following their 1-1 draw in Lebanon.

The match started brightly for the visitors when Jasur Hasanov opened the scoring on 12 minutes but Lebanon restored parity through Ali Al Saadi in the 34th minute.

Finally, South Korea cruised to a comfortable 4-1 win over Qatar, joining their beaten visitors and Iran on three points in Group A.


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