Yuya Kubo and Yasuyuki Konno scored a objective in every half for the Japanese because the four-times Asian champions remained locked on 13 factors with Saudi Arabia in Group B of Asia's qualifying event after Bert van Marwijk's group recorded a Three-Zero win over Thailand in Bangkok.
The 2 nations moved three factors clear on the prime of the standings, with Australia dropping into third because of their 1-1 draw with Iraq in Tehran. The third positioned workforce in every of Asia's two qualifying teams goes right into a playoff.
Mathew Leckie gave the Socceroos the lead after 39 minutes just for Ahmed Yasin to attain from shut vary with 14 minutes remaining to select up some extent for the struggling Iraqis."It was a troublesome recreation," Australia coach Ange Postecoglou informed Fox Sports activities.
"We simply weren't robust sufficient within the defensive areas and we have been regularly scrambling for issues and by no means actually received maintain of the sport. I assumed the primary half, within the final 20 minutes we acquired good management of it and doubtless wanted a second objective and in the long run they obtained one.
"Our efficiency in all probability did not warrant three factors at the moment and truthful credit score to them they labored onerous. We did not cope properly within the second half and in the long run they in all probability received the purpose they deserved."
Saudi Arabia secured a cushty win in Bangkok because the Gulf nation continued their march in the direction of their first look on the World Cup since 2006, with striker Mohammad Al Sahlawi on the right track to register his 15th aim in all phases of qualifying to date.
Iran, in the meantime, strengthened their grip on prime spot in Group A with a 1-Zero win over Qatar that strikes Carlos Queiroz's workforce 4 factors away from second positioned South Korea and an extra level forward of Uzbekistan in third.
Mehdi Taremi scored the one aim of the sport for the Iranians as Qatar's probabilities of qualifying for the World Cup earlier than internet hosting of 2022 event seems to be fading quick as they dropped to the underside of the standings.
Syria had an damage time penalty from Omar Khrbin to thank for holding their hopes of a first-ever World Cup finals look alive as they secured a shock 1-Zero win over Uzbekistan.
Regardless of being pressured to play their house video games in impartial Malaysia resulting from safety points in Syria, the nation's nationwide group is simply two factors behind South Korea, who sit within the second of Group A's two automated qualifying spots for Russia 2018.
The Koreans slipped up towards China when Marcello Lippi's group scored their first win of the present part of the marketing campaign by advantage of Yu Dabao's objective, with the victory taking the Chinese language onto 5 factors to take care of their slim probabilities of qualifying for subsequent yr's finals.