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Uzbekistan into next round in World Cup qualifying; Iraq, Japan remain in contention

Uzbekistan into next round in World Cup qualifying; Iraq, Japan remain in contention

Uzbekistan clinched its place in the next stage of World Cup qualifying on Alexander Geynrick's goal 10 minutes from time against Singapore on Saturday and Japan got a late equalizer against Oman to remain in contention.
World Cup 2002 semifinalist South Korea moved to eight points with a 1-0 win at Jordan to edge ahead of North Korea _ a 1-0 winner over Turkmenistan at Pyongyang _ on goal difference in Group 3, and Asian Cup champion Iraq beat Australia 1-0 to keep its slim hopes of advancing from Group 1 alive.
The top two teams in each of the five groups advance to the fourth and final round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Uzbeks continued their perfect start in this round with a fourth win in Group 4, albeit not as spectacular as its 7-3 away win at Singapore.
Substitute striker Geynrikh fired in from the edge of the box 10 minutes from time amid a goalmouth scramble, finally converting Uzbekistan's pressure into points.
At Muscat, Seigo Narazaki stopped Fouzi Bashir's penalty in the 58th minute to keep Japan on level terms against Oman and move a step closer to a place in the next round.
Oman was awarded was awarded the penalty just five minutes after Yasuhito Endo's penalty had canceled out Ahmed Mubarak's 11th minute opener for Oman.
Japan has seven points, three clear of Oman in second place in Group 2 with two remaining matches.
Mubarak's left-foot drive on 11 minutes gave Oman the lead for 42 minutes until Endo Yasuhito's penalty equalized.
Iraq, playing its home games in Dubai, reversed a 1-0 loss in Brisbane last weekend to hand Australia its first loss of the campaign and remain in calculations for the next round.
The Iraqis moved to four points and off the bottom of the group with their first win of the round, one point clear of winless China, which was upset 1-0 at home by Qatar.
Emad Mohammed, who narrowly missed with two first-half chances in the first half of a 1-0 loss to the Socceroos last week, got a measure of revenge when he hit the winner in the 28th minute in Dubai.
Australia has seven points and remained atop Group 1 on goal difference from Qatar.
Regional powerhouse Iran ended a winless streak in Group 5 with a 1-0 away win over United Arab Emirates, holding on for 82 minutes after Ferydoon Zandi's goal in the 8th minute.


Updated : 2021-01-27 13:05 GMT+08:00