Japan and Uzbekistan were the first teams to advance to the last round of Asian World Cup qualifying, while North Korea was eliminated from contention on Friday.
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Japan accounted for host Tajikistan 4-0, then Uzbekistan beat visiting North Korea 1-0 to send both winners into the fourth and decisive round.
North Korea became the first team from the 2010 World Cup to be knocked out of the running for Brazil 2014.
Australia missed a chance to advance when it was stunned by Oman, which needed the win to stay alive. Striker Imaad al Hosni scored from close range in the 17th minute and Australia was unable to equalize.
China was also on the brink of missing a third straight World Cup after losing to Iraq 1-0.