Japan stays perfect on road to World Cup while Iran falters

Save Story
Leer en Español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japan maintained its perfect record in Asia World Cup qualifying by beating Kyrgyzstan 2-0 while Iran lost a second straight match on Thursday.

Iran, trying to reach a third consecutive World Cup, fell to Iraq 2-1 in Amman, Jordan.

Takumi Minamino gave Japan the lead in Bishkek from the penalty spot four minutes before halftime and Genki Haraguchi added a second after 54 minutes.

Japan, with four wins out of four, moved six points clear of second-placed Kyrgyzstan at the top of Group F.

Iran slipped four points behind Iraq halfway through the group stage after substitute Alaa Abbas scored the winner in the second minute of injury time.

Iraq moved to the top of Group C, two points of clear of Bahrain, which drew against Hong Kong 0-0.

South Korea stayed first in Group H though it dropped points after drawing with Lebanon 0-0 in Beirut.

Due to anti-government protests in the city, Lebanese authorities played the qualifier behind closed doors.

Elsewhere, Vietnam took sole lead of Group G by three points after beating the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in Hanoi, while previous co-leader Thailand lost to Malaysia 2-1 in Kuala Lumpur.

Saudi Arabia came from behind to defeat Uzbekistan 3-2 to go top of Group D.

China, coached by 2006 World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, slipped five points behind Syria in Group A after losing to the Syrians 2-1 in Dubai.

Osama Omari opened the scoring for Syria after 19 minutes, and Wu Lei equalized on the half hour. A Zhang Linpeng own goal with 14 minutes remaining condemned China to its first defeat.

Only the winner of each of the eight groups and the four best second-placed teams progress to the next stage of qualification.


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent National Sports stories

Related topics

SoccerNational Sports
The Associated Press


    From first downs to buzzer beaters, get KSL.com’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast