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Mar 26, 2013

Holman strike saves Australia

Australia and Oman played out a 2-2 draw in Sydney on Tuesday evening, with Aston Villa striker Brett Holman salvaging a point for the home side five minutes from time.

• Brooks: Defence exposed

Abdul Aziz Mubarak found the back of the net after just six minutes to put the visitors up 1-0, and it stayed that way until half-time. However, things got worse for the Socceroos as Mile Jedinak's own goal doubled Oman's advantage.

Tim Cahill's header a few minutes later re-energised the Australians though and Holman's bullet strike with five minutes left saved a point.

It meant Japan needed only a point from their trip to Jordan to become the first nation to qualify for the World Cup finals - but they suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Khalil Bani Attiah put Jordan in front in first-half injury time and they doubled their advantage through Ahmed Hayel on the hour. Shinji Kagawa's 69th minute goal gave Japan hope and they should have drawn level two minutes later but Yasuhito Endo missed from the spot.

Japan hold a six-point advantage at the top of the group, with Jordan climbing up to second on seven points. Australia are third on six points ahead of Oman on goal difference. Iraq, who like Australia have a game in hand, are a point further back.

The top two nations in each group qualify for the finals, with the third-placed teams playing off for the right to face the fifth-placed South American nation with the winners going to Brazil.

In the other group, pacesetters South Korea got the better of Qatar 2-1.

It was a dramatic finish at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, with Song Heung-min scoring a 96th-minute winner, having come off the bench with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Prior to that, Lee Keunho's opener had been cancelled out by Khalfan Al Khalfan.

Korea were quickly replaced in top spot in their group, though, as Uzbekistan beat Lebanon 1-0 to replace them.

Server Djeparov scored the only goal of the game with 64 minutes gone and they now head the table by a point, albeit having played a game more.

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