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By ESPN Staff

Australia take step towards finals

Australia are 90 minutes away from at place at the World Cup finals after thrashing Jordan 4-0 in Melbourne.

• Jones: Australia find form

The hosts moved up to second place in Asian qualifying Group B and know victory at home to Iraq next Tuesday will seal their place in Brazil next summer, alongside pool winners Japan.

Australia went into the match level on points in third place with their opponents, two points behind Oman, and knowing only victory would do.

Mark Bresciano eased any home nerves with the opening goal after 15 minutes and Tim Cahill added a second just after the hour mark. New Bayer Leverkusen signing Robbie Kruse netted the third in the 76th minute before veteran Lucas Neill completed the scoring six minutes from time.

Japan ran out 1-0 winners against Iraq in the other Group B contest.

Shinji Okazaki struck the only goal in the 89th minute as Japan - already assured of their place in Brazil next year - beat the group's bottom side in Doha.

South Korea strengthened their position at the top of Group A with a 1-0 win at home to Uzbekistan.

Akmal Shorakhmedov's own goal three minutes before half-time decided the contest and left the Koreans needing just a point from their final game against Iran to reach the World Cup.

The South Koreans could even have sealed qualifiction if Iran had lost to Lebanon in Tehran, but that outcome was never a realistic prospect as the hosts ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

Mohammad Khalatbari opened the scoring after 39 minutes while Javad Nekonam's injury-time effort made it 2-0 at the break. Reza Ghoochannejhad added a third within a minute of the restart before Nekonam wrapped up the scoring with his second with four minutes remaining.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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