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Australia, Japan go clear in group with World Cup qualifying wins
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Australia and Japan have made clear moves in Group A after winning their Asian World Cup qualifiers for South Africa 2010 on Wednesday.

Mark Bresciano pounced on a rare defensive mistake by Bahrain to score three minutes into injury time, giving the visitors a 1-0 victory in Manama after having been outplayed for most of the match.

The victory maintained Australia's perfect record of the campaign after three matches, and put them on top of the Group A table.

Japan also earned a strong position to reach the World Cup finals after thrumping Qatar 3-0 away to move into outright second place with seven points, two behind Australia and three clear of third-placed Qatar.

Also on Wednesday, South Korea beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 to top Group B with two points ahead of Iran, who scored a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw with United Arab Emirates.

These were the last Asian qualifiers this year with the next round of fixtures scheduled for February.

The top two sides from each of the five-team groups guaranteed places.

(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2008)

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