AFC 2014 World Cup qualifying: Japan can be the first team to clinch trip to Brazil

Bradley Kanaris

Japan is just one game away from becoming the first team to clinch a 2014 World Cup place. They book their trip to Brazil with a win or draw against Australia, who are in serious need of points.

Japan squandered a chance to clinch a World Cup berth during the last round of qualifying, unexpectedly falling to Jordan. They get a second crack at being the first team to qualify for next summer's tournament on Tuesday when they play Australia in the biggest game in AFC World Cup qualifying. Japan will clinch a place in Brazil with a win or a draw.

The Socceroos have had an up-and-down qualifying cycle and find themselves in big trouble in Group B. They currently sit in third place, with Oman and Iraq both breathing down their neck. Australia won't find themselves out of qualifying with a loss, but it will put them in a sticky situation and make direct qualification without a playoff difficult. Oman and Iraq play the other game in Group B, with Jordan sitting out.

Uzbekistan, who surprisingly sit in first place, are the dormant team in Group A. South Korea has a chance to reclaim first place in the group if they can get a result away to Lebanon. Qatar, who sit in fourth place, are in a nearly must-win game at home against Iraq.

Schedule (all times ET)

Japan vs. Australia - 6:30 a.m.
Oman vs. Iraq - 9 a.m.
Qatar vs. Iran - 12:30 p.m.
Lebanon vs. South Korea - 1:30 p.m.

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