Japan and Australia show their class

Updated: 2011-10-12 14:51


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Japan and Australia show their class

Australia's captain Lucas Neill (top) fights for the ball with Oman's Amad Al Hosni during their World Cup 2014 qualifying soccer match in Sydney, Oct 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Continental powerhouses Japan and Australia stamped their authority on Asian World Cup qualifying with comfortable victories in the third round of matches on Tuesday.

Japan, who scraped past the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) 1-0 at home and drew 1-1 in Uzbekistan in their opening two Group C games, crushed Tajikistan 8-0 in Osaka with Mike Havenaar, Shinji Okazaki and midfielder Shinji Kagawa scoring two goals each.

"We knew we were expected to win but it felt good to win in such emphatic fashion," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters.

In the other Group C match, Uzbekistan maintained their unbeaten run as Alexander Geynrikh's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win over DPRK in Pyongyang.

Australia beat Oman 3-0 in Sydney and took a big step towards the next stage with their third successive victory, cementing their place at the top of Group D.

Brett Holman's goal after seven minutes and second-half strikes from Josh Kennedy and Mile Jedinak sank Oman.

"I always keep saying the 11 players on the pitch are all key players, if they don't have the quality or the potential they don't have the right to play in the Socceroos," Australia coach Holger Osieck said.

"It was important for us to win but it's not a finished situation. We still have to win games, gain points... the boys are all aware of that."

Younis Mahmoud scored the winner in the 45th minute as China lost 1-0 to 10-man Iraq, coached by Brazilian Zico, in Shenzhen.

China, coached by Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, failed to take advantage of Basem Abbas's sending-off for a second yellow card in the 64th minute and suffered their second Group A defeat in a row.

Japan and Australia show their class

South Korea's Park Chu-young celebrates his goal during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against the United Arab Emirates in Suwon, south of Seoul, Oct 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

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