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    Saudi Arabia


    South Korea




Referee: Baojie Sun | Attendance: 18000

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0 - 3



  • Tatsuya Tanaka 19'
  • Keiji Tamada 47'
  • Marcus Tulio Tanaka 69'

Qatar 0-3 Japan: Japan keep up pressure

Japan scored three unanswered goals to see off Qatar's challenge and claim their second win in the final round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers at the Al Sadd stadium today.

• Takeshi hails defensive display

Japan opened the scoring after 19 minutes through Tatsuya Tanaka before Keiji Tamada scored the second goal for his side two minutes after the break. Marcus Tulio Tanaka sealed the game with a third goal after 68 minutes.

Japan's win leaves them in second place in Group One, two points behind leaders Australia, while Qatar remain third five points off the pace.

Qatar kicked off the game with a chance after only eight minutes when Ibrahim Majed followed a cross from the right with a powerful header, but the ball went wide.

However, it was Japan who had the best chances in the next minutes of the game and they could have opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Marcus Tulio Tanaka forced Qatar goalkeeper Mohamed Saqr to save his powerful shot from long range.

Japan continued their dominance and they nearly opened the scoring two minutes later when Tatsuya Tanaka had a shot from outside the area but the ball went wide.

However, Tanaka was not denied in the 19th minute when he received a cross from Atsuto Uchida from long distance before going into the area to score with a powerful shot between the legs of Saqr.

Japan doubled their lead early in the second half when Makoto Hasebe passed to Keiji Tamada who fired a left-foot drive from just inside the area past the helpless Saqr.

It should have been 3-0 after 56 minutes when Yoshito Okubo beat Ibrahim Majed to the ball and went into the area before firing a powerful shot only for Saqr to tip the ball over to a corner.

Japan sealed the game eight minutes after the hour mark when Shunsuke Nakamura sent a cross from the left which was followed by Marcus Tulio Tanaka with a header from tight angle.

The Japanese nearly added a fourth goal in the 73rd minute when Makoto Hasebe was first to reach a clearance from the Qatari defence, but his shot from outside the area went over the crossbar.

  • Takeshi hails defensive display

    Coach Okada Takeshi hailed a key defence display after Japan returned to winning ways in their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win in Qatar.

    "I think they did a great job, we played as a team. Getting three points from this match is big. I am extremely happy to have seven points," said Takeshi. "I anticipated a tough game, but I knew if we played well we would move ahead in the qualifying.

    "I think our defenders were the key, they helped us win the match. My defenders did not allow the Qatari players a lot."

    Tatsuya Tanaka broke the deadlock after 19 minutes, but Japan had to wait until just after the break to double the lead before Marcus Tulio Tanaka wrapped up the win midway through the second half.

    "When we scored the second goal I knew we are on top. That gave us the momentum to win the match," added Takeshi.

    "I thought we should have scored at least one more goal because we missed a few easy chances in the second half. I thought the Qatari defenders were guilty of keeping the ball too long. That made things easy."

    Former United Arab Emirates coach Metsu has yet to win a game in charge of Qatar after suffering a 4-0 defeat by Australia last month and was faced with a crowd of irate fans when leaving the stadium.

    Qatar must claim a top two spot in Group One to qualify for the World Cup, while a third-placed finish would mean they would need to win two-play-off games.

    "I am disappointed. My team is disappointed. We lost against a team which is very organised and highly skilled," said the Frenchman.

    "My best players couldn't play well. Japan did not allow us to settle down. We tried a few different things, but they didn't work. But we will try to improve because we have important matches still to play.

    "We are in a bad situation. We didn't play well at all. Since we have lost at home, things have become all the more difficult. We have a huge task ahead of us.

    "But we will not give up the fight. We need to look at the future. We must try to get the third place in the group."