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Wednesday 05 June 2013

Road to Brazil: Japan qualify for World Cup

Japan become first team to qualify for FIFA World Cup through qualifying; Mexico beat Jamaica

Manchester Utd's Shinji Kagawa celebrates Japan's FIFA World Cup qualification

Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa and Southampton’s Maya Yoshida helped Japan become the first team to book a place in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil through qualification.

An injury-time penalty that beat Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer earned Japan a 1-1 draw with Australia in Saitama, which was enough to guarantee top spot in Group B of Asian Football Confederation qualifying.

Australia, for whom Aston Villa’s Brett Holman also started, lie third in the group on seven points after six matches, two points behind Oman, who occupy the second automatic qualifying spot after beating Iraq 1-0, having played a game more.

In Group A, Kim Bo-kyung of Barclays Premier League newcomers Cardiff City started for South Korea as they also shared a 1-1 draw with Lebanon in Beirut. The point kept South Korea top of the group, ahead of Uzbekistan on goal difference with Iran, who edged a 1-0 success against Qatar, a point back.

In the CONCACAF qualifying group a Mexico side featuring Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez edged a 1-0 victory over Jamaica to move top of the section, level on points with Panama. The defeat ended the Reggae Boyz' hopes of reaching next year’s tournament in Brazil.

World Cup qualifying results – 4 June

Asian Football Confederation

Group A
Lebanon 1-1 South Korea
Qatar 0-1 Iran

Group B
Japan 1-1 Australia
Oman 1-0 Iraq

CONCACAF qualifying
Jamaica 0-1 Mexico

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Key Points

  • Japan become first team to book place at FIFA World Cup through qualifying
  • Shinji Kagawa and Maya Yoshida helped Japan draw with Australia
  • Javier Hernandez features as Mexico seal narrow victory over Jamaica