Japan becomes first team to reach 2014 World Cup

  • Follow Other sports

SAITAMA, Japan — Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday after a stoppage-time penalty by Keisuke Honda secured a 1-1 draw with Australia.

Japan's Shinji Kagawa leaps to avoid Australia's Sasa Ognenovski while they battle for control of the ball Tuesday.  KOJI SASAHARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
KOJI SASAHARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Japan's Shinji Kagawa leaps to avoid Australia's Sasa Ognenovski while they battle for control of the ball Tuesday.

Tommy Oar had given Australia a 1-0 lead in the 82nd minute but a handball by Matthew McKay in extra time set up the penalty for Honda, who beat goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with left-footed shot to the top corner. Japan needed at least a point to clinch a spot in next year’s World Cup in Brazil from Group B in Asian qualifying.

Both teams had great scoring chances in the first half, but Schwarzer got his right hand up to block Shinji Kagawa’s shot from close range. Later, Brett Holman fed a through ball to Robbie Kruse who fired a right-footed shot that Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima knocked down with an outstretched arm.

OMAN 1, IRAQ 0

In Muscat, Oman, Oman scored in first-half stoppage time to beat Iraq and boost its chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

With time running out on an uneventful first half, Ismail al-Ajmi headed the winner past keeper Noor Sabri Abbas and striker Humam Tareq Faraj, who failed to clear it off the line.

The victory moves Oman into second in Group B behind Japan.

Iraq’s best chance came in the 87th when Younus Mahmood’s shot went wide.

IRAN 1, QATAR 0

In Doha, Qatar, Iran downed Qatar to revive its 2014 World Cup campaign and almost surely dash the Qataris’ hopes of qualifying.

After a sluggish first half, Iran dominated possession in the second and it paid off in the 66th minute when striker Rez Ghoochannejhad Nournia pounced on a deflection from midfielder Mojtaba Jabari and slotted home the winner.

Nournia almost doubled Iran’s lead in the 81st but his breakway was thwarted by Qatar goalkeeper Qasem Burhan.

The victory left Iran tied for second in Asia Group A.

Qatar was fourth, four points behind group leader Uzbekistan, and three back of Iran. Qatar has only one match remaining while Iran and South Korea have two.

SOUTH KOREA 1, LEBANON 1

In Beirut, South Korea needed an equalizer in the seventh minute of injury time to earn a draw with Lebanon.

Hassan Maatouk put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute after some poor defending allowed the forward to collect the ball before firing low and hard past goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.

The draw leaves South Korea on top of Group A, level on 11 points with second-place Uzbekistan.


Top headlines

'Go Downtown' initiative gets mixed reviews

The "Go Downtown" initiative aims to foster a downtown environment that welcomes the college community and creates business for merchants. The event is held every third Thursday of the month ...
Search Augusta jobs