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 By John Duerden

Iran, Japan and South Korea victorious in AFC World Cup qualifiers

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts recap the big wins for Japan, South Korea and Iran in AFC World Cup qualifying.

Iran moved to within a single victory of the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over China in front of 100,000 fans at the Azadi Stadium.

Medhi Taremi's goal early in the second half broke stiff Chinese resistance and put Carlos Queiroz's men on 17 points from seven games in the third round of qualification with three games left to play. With the top two from Group A and B heading to Russia next summer, Iran are now within touching distance of the finals.

Zeng Cheng was a busy man in the...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

China claim historic win against South Korea as Australia held by Iraq

Marcello Lippi's China took a shocking first half lead over South Korea as Yu Dabao's goal was the decider.

Yu Dabao's header and a stirring second-half performance by goalkeeper Zeng Cheng saw China claim a 1-0 win over South Korea on Thursday that keeps alive Marcello Lippi's side's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals.

Yu headed in the winner 11 minutes before the break while Zeng made a trio of superb saves to deny Uli Stielike's side in the second half as the Chinese notched up their first win over the South Koreans in seven years, and only their second ever victory against...

 By John Duerden

Marcello Lippi fails to inspire China while Australia draw 2-2 in Thailand

Paul Pogba pays homage to Conor McGregor's walk and David Alaba falls victim to Thiago's nutmeg in The Sweeper.
China coach Marcello Lippi
Marcello Lippi took charge of his first competitive game as China head coach.

Marcello Lippi was unable to inspire China to a win in his first game in charge as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Qatar in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Kunming on Tuesday evening.

The hosts are bottom of Group A in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup with just one point from the first four games, and the result almost certainly ends the slim hopes they had of finishing in the top two in the six-team group and progressing automatically to Russia.

China had plenty of chances but...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Australia and Japan draw as China lose again in AFC World Cup qualifying

Mile Jedinak's penalty rescued Australia from a home 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying defeat, salvaging a 1-1 draw in Melbourne against Japan and keeping the Socceroos on course for Russia 2018.

The Japanese looked set for a smash-and-grab success after Genki Haraguchi's fifth-minute opener until Australia's captain restored parity early in the second half.

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A first half played at a snail's pace gave way to a helter-skelter second 45 minutes, allowing the Socceroos back into the Group B contest.

The...