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South Korea qualifies for World Cup in Qatar, Japan beats Saudi Arabia


South Korea qualified for a 10th successive World Cup after beating Syria 2-0 in Dubai on Tuesday.

Second-half goals from Kim Jin-su and Kwon Chang-hoon gave the Koreans a comfortable victory over the bottom team in Asia Group A qualifying.

South Korea moved 11 points clear of the third-placed United Arab Emirates, which has just three games remaining.

The top two teams from each of the two groups automatically qualify. The third-place teams advance to playoffs.

In Group B, a first-half goal from Takumi Minamino set Japan on the way to beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 at Saitama Stadium and keeping the host on course for a seventh successive World Cup appearance.

Minamino’s goal from close range after 31 minutes was created by Junya Ito. The Belgian-based winger then added the second soon after the restart with a fierce shot from the edge of the area to seal a first defeat for the Saudis in the group.

Saudi Arabia, which would have qualified for a sixth World Cup with a victory, still led the group with 19 points, one more than Japan. Australia would move on to 17 with a win over Oman later Tuesday.

Last-placed Vietnam, which had previously lost all of its seven games in Group B, defeated China 3-1 in Hanoi. The defeat ended China’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup for only the second time.





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