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Australia to play Japan qualifier in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Australia will play Japan in their final 2010 World Cup qualifying match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next June, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Monday.

"Australia started its 2010 World Cup campaign in Melbourne against Qatar earlier this year so it is fitting that the final qualifying match is played here next year," FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said on Monday.

Buckley also confirmed that Pim Verbeek's side would play their two home qualifying matches, against Uzbekistan on April 1 and Bahrain on June 10, in Sydney.

The final Asian Group One fourth-round qualifier against Japan on June 17 could determine which of the two sides qualify automatically for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

The top two teams in each group advance with the third-placed teams involved in a playoff to decide who will play Oceania champions New Zealand for a place in the finals. Australia face Qatar in Brisbane in their second match of the final Asian qualifying round on Wednesday.

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