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Saturday, June 9, 2012
Japan cruise, Australia held

Japan made it two wins out of two in Group B of the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualifying as they thrashed the 10 men of Jordan 6-0 with the help of a hat-trick from Keisuke Honda.

Japan were already 2-0 up through goals from Ryoichi Maeda - heading in from a corner - and Honda - who side-footed home a cross - when Abdallah Deeb was sent off for an elbow on Makoto Hasebe in the 27th minute.

And things got worse as Honda had an easy tap-in for his second on the half-hour mark before new Manchester United man Shinji Kagawa made it 4-0 with a shot into the far corner 10 minutes before half-time.

Honda's hat-trick was completed from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after Khalil Baniateyah fouled Maede just inside the area, and Yuzo Kurihara completed the rout a minute from time as he headed in Yuto Nagatomo's corner at the far post.

But while Japan are cruising, Australia had a more difficult start to their campaign as they were held to a goalless draw by Oman. Australia turned in a largely indifferent performance, with Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi equal to their best efforts.

South Korea thrashed Qatar 4-1 in their Group A opener, but had to come from behind to do it as an off-balance Yousef Ahmad Ali managed to find the net with a 22nd minute shot to put the hosts ahead.

The Koreans needed all of four minutes to level though, as Lee Keun Ho headed in an equaliser. Kwak Tae Hwi then heading in a second in the 56th minute from a corner and it was 3-1 in the 64th minute when Lee Keun Ho lashed in a powerful shot.

It was Lee again who scored number four, heading in when left unmarked from a corner. Qatar's Mohammad Razarak struck a post in injury time but they were well beaten.

Uzbekistan, under new management as Mirdjalal Kasimov took charge for the first time, got their first point at the second attempt in a 1-1 draw with Lebanon.

The Uzbeks were ahead after 12th minutes when Jasur Hasanov opened the scoring. But Lebanon were level in the 34th minute as Ali Al Saadi scored.




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