Japan beat Australia 2-1 in World Cup qualifier


With a late own-goal from Australian defender Aziz Behich, Japan edged Australia 2-1 to claim their second victory in the final round of Asian World Cup qualifying campaign at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.

The win left Japan on six points with two wins and two losses in Group B, moving them within one win of the previously unbeaten Socceroos.

Japan took the lead in the eighth minute through a goal from Ao Tanaka.

Australia, bidding to extend their World Cup qualifying unbeaten run to 12 games, leveled the scoring in the 70th minute when Ajdin Hrustic’s free kick arrowed into the top corner of Japan’s goal.

In the 86th minute, Australian defender Aziz Behich scored an own goal after Japanese substitute Takuma Asano’s shot hit the far post and bounced out.

The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals to be held in Qatar next year.

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