Je­d­i­nak penalty se­cures draw for Aus­tralia against Ja­pan

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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