Three and easy for unbeaten Australia

BY foxsports • October 11, 2011

Australia maintained their perfect record in the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup as they brushed aside Oman 3-0 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Having already seen off Thailand and Saudi Arabia, Brett Holman set the hosts on their way to a third consecutive victory in Group D after just seven minutes when he slid home Matt McKay's low cross at the far post.

Australia had to wait until the 65th minute to double their lead when Holman fed Luke Wilkshire inside the box and although his shot was saved, Josh Kennedy pounced on the rebound to fire home.

Mile Jedinak then put the result beyond any doubt five minutes from time as Wilkshire's free-kick picked out the midfielder unmarked in the box and he made no mistake with the finish.

Uzbekistan remain unbeaten in Group C after Alexander Geynrikh's first-half goal overcame North Korea at Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang.

The Suwon Bluewings midfielder struck after 25 minutes to seal the central Asians' second victory as they move onto seven points after three games.

Mike Havenaar, Shinji Okazaki and Shinji Kagawa each scored twice as Japan crushed Tajikistan 8-0 at Nagai Stadium in Osaka.

The hosts began aggressively and came close to breaking the deadlock with Maya Yoshida's header in the sixth minute and Kagawa's shot from outside the box three minutes later.

They went in front in the 10th minute when Havenaar, named in the starting line-up for the first time, rose to head home Yuichi Komano's cross.

Nine minutes later, Stuttgart forward Okazaki fired home from inside the box following Kengo Nakamura's pass before Komano added the third in the 35th minute when he was first to a rebound from Nakamura's shot.

Kagawa produced a smart finish from a Nakamura cross four minutes before the break to make it 4-0 and Havenaar then headed home Nakamura's corner a minute after the re-start.

Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo and Okazaki all hit the woodwork in the space of four minutes before Nakamura got in on the act in the 56th minute when he finished inside the area.

Kagawa then claimed Japan's seventh goal with a curling effort following Yasuhito Endo's pass in the 68th minute and Okazaki completed the scoring six minutes later when he connected with Nakamura's fine cross at the far post.

The result moved Japan level with Uzbekistan on seven points at the top of Group C.

South Korea closed in on a place in the next round with a 2-1 win over UAE at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Group B.

The 2002 World Cup semi-finalists took control in the second-half of a mostly one-sided match thanks to Park Chu-young's strike and an own goal from Ismail Hamdan.

Korea now have seven points from three games and are favourites to finish in the top two to progress to the final round while UAE fell to a third consecutive defeat.

It looked like being a frustrating evening for the hosts as UAE packed their defence but six minutes after the restart, Seo Jung-jin turned his marker and his pass found Park unmarked just outside the box.

The Arsenal striker's first-time shot evaded the advancing Majid Nasir Hameed to find the back of the net.

The game looked to be over as a contest after 64 minutes when an inswinging Ki Sung-yung corner from the right was headed into his own net by Hamdan.

Two minutes into injury time. however, Ismail Matar chested down a pass inside the area and finished smartly to ensure a nervous finish.

In Group D, Thailand held Saudi Arabia to a goalless draw at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium, leaving the visitors still searching for their first win.

Younis Mahmoud's strike just before half-time gave 10-man Iraq a hard-fought 1-0 win over China in Group A at Shenzhen Stadium.

Mahmoud scored the only goal of the game in the dying minutes of the first period before defender Bassim Abbas was sent off midway through the second half after receiving a second yellow card.

The home side were indebted to goalkeeper Yang Zhi for not conceding an early goal when he denied Mustafa Karim from close range after nine minutes.

Gao Lin came close to a goal in the 33rd minute with a fierce drive, only to see keeper Mohammed Gassid palm the ball away with an excellent save.

As China began to gain the upper hand in midfield, Iraq made the most of a counter-attack to net the winner.

Mahmoud played a superb one-two with Karim before the latter delivered a fine ball across the face of goal for the former to slot home.

After Abbas was dismissed, China pressed for an equaliser in a late onslaught.

Du Wei's spectacular effort was tipped away by Gassid before substitute Yu Hai beat the offside trap but headed Gao's cross wide from 10 yards as China fell to a second defeat.

The win moved Iraq on to six points - three behind leaders Jordan, who continued their fine form with a third consecutive victory by defeating Singapore 3-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Abdullah Deeb opened the scoring after 11 minutes and second-half goals from Anas Bani Yaseen and Ahmad Ibrahim secured the points.

Mohammed Razak's goal just before the hour mark saw Qatar pick up their first win in Group E with a 3-2 triumph over Indonesia at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

The visitors took the lead through Abdulaziz Al Sultani after 14 minutes but Cristian Gonzales levelled for Indonesia 12 minutes later.

Ibrahim Khalfan restored Qatar's advantage in the 32nd minute and, although Gonzales equalised for a second time three minutes later, Razak's winner thrust his side back into contention for one of the group's two qualification spots.


share story