Jedinak penalty secures draw for Australia against Japan
AMile Jedinak penalty secured a 1-1 draw for Australia against Japan in their Asian Group B World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, while Iran’s Sardar Azmoun grabbed the only goal as they stayed top of Group A with a 1-0 win over South Korea.
Iran were briefly bumped down to second after Uzbekistan, who were beaten by the group leaders on Thursday, rebounded to secure a 2-0 win over China.
Iraq’s Mohanad Adbulraheem scored all four goals as they secured the first points of their Group B campaign with a 4-0 win over Thailand, who were reduced to 10 men after Koravit Namwiset was sent off.
Asian Cup champions Australia stayed top of Group B on eight points, one more than second placed Japan following their 1-1 draw in Melbourne.
Genki Haraguchi put Japan ahead in the fifth minute, but made a clumsy challenge on Tomi Juric to concede a 52nd-minute penalty that Socceroos skipper Jedinak slotted home to ensure his side stayed undefeated in qualifying for Russia 2018.
In Group A, Iran retained top spot with a 1-0 win over South Korea in a fervent atmosphere in a jam-packed Azadi stadium.
.The Iranians dominated the first half and took a deserved 25th-minute lead through Azmoun, who capped a flowing move when he met a fizzing low cross from the right and side-footed it into the bottom right corner past keeper Seung-Gyu Kim.
The Koreans pressed forward after the break but failed to create a clear-cut chance against a packed Iranian defence. Uzbekistan’s Marat Bikmaev made the breakthrough in their clash against China five minutes after the restart following a goalless first half in Tashkent.
Eldor Shomurodov outfoxed China’s backline with a defence-splitting pass that Bikmaev smashed across China goalkeeper Yang Zhi and in off the post. – Reuters