MUSCAT, June 7 (World Cup Qualifying) - Yashuhito Endo's second-half penalty earned Japan a draw in Oman in a game they dominated for long periods.
The Gamba Osaka midfielder's effort cancelled out Ahmed Mubarak's 11th-minute strike for the hosts.
Oman had a golden opportunity to snatch all three points when Hashim Salem Mohammed was brought down in the box by Marcus Tulio Tanaka, but Fawzi Bashir hit his spot-kick tamely and Seigo Narazaki guessed correctly, diving to his left to make the save.
Japan stay three points ahead of Oman with two games remaining in Group Two of the third-round of Asian World Cup qualifiers and the Takeshi Okada's side are now well placed to progress to the next phase of the competition.
Oman took the lead through Mubara after 11 minutes when he finished emphatically with his left foot from the edge of the box.
The Omanis sat back on their lead and despite Japan dominating possession they could not find a goal to draw the game level before the break.
Shunsuke Nakamura saw his 27th-minute free-kick headed over the crossbar by the home defence.
Six minutes later the Celtic playmaker turned provider when he teed up Yoshito Okubo with a lofted ball into the area that the Vissel Kobe striker headed goalward, only for Ali Al Habsi to claw to safety.
In the 39th minute Keiji Tamada tried his luck from range, but his effort failed to trouble Al Habsi.
Japan continued to dominate after the break, and seven minutes after the restart Okubo lobbed over the crossbar.
But less than a minute later Endo was given the chance to pull his side level when Tamada was tripped in the box by Ahmed Al Mukhaini and Malaysian referee Mohd Salleh Subkhiddin pointed to the spot.
Endo made no mistake, slotting his kick to Al Habsi's left to notch up his sixth international goal.
Five minutes later when Mohammed was brought down in the box, Oman had a chance to re-take the lead that they scarcely deserved.
Bashir stepped up confidently but struck his kick poorly to Narazaki's left and the Grampus Eight goalkeeper greatfully cradled the ball.
The game ended as a bad tempered affair with Okubo sent off for kicking out at Al Habsi. After the incident players from both sides became involved in some heated exchanges and Oman's Khalifa Ayil received his marching orders.