AFC Qualifying Wrap: Australia in trouble, South Korea steal a point late

Jasper Juinen

Japan claimed a spot in the World Cup while Australia are in real trouble. South Korea took a step towards qualification with a late goal to earn a draw against Lebanon.

Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil thanks to a last second equalizer against Australia. Oman put pressure on the Socceroos with their win over Iraq while in Group A, South Korea's 96th minute goal saved a point against Lebanon and kept the Taegeuk Warriors on track for qualification.

Japan 1-1 Australia

Keisuke Honda's penalty in the 90th minute secured both a point for Japan and a spot in the 2014 World Cup. The Samurai Blue become the first nation to qualify for next summer's tournament. Australia remain second in AFC Group B despite having just a single win in this round of qualifying. Tommy Oar's goal in the 82nd minute looked to have the Socceroos on track for their second win but there were forced to settle for their fifth draw thanks to the stoppage time penalty.

Australia has two games left to secure a place in the World game with home games against Jordan and Iran later in the month. Jordan is tied with Australia on seven points.

Oman 1-0 Iraq

Abdul Salam Al-Mukhaini's goal just before halftime propelled Oman into second place in Group B, at least for the moment. All three teams behind Oman, including Australia and Jordan, have two games left to play while Oman is down to one final qualifier. Iraq drop to last place in the group with the loss but remain alive for both automatic qualification or a playoff spot.

Qatar 0-1 Iran

Iran kept their World Cup qualification hopes alive thanks to a 65th minute goal from Reza Ghoochannejhad. The win moves Iran up to third place -- a playoff spot -- with two games left to play for the Iranians. Qatar drops down to fourth and with only one game left to play, they'll need a lot of help to stay in the race.

Lebanon 1-1 South Korea

South Korea pulled off a miraculous draw with a goal six minutes into stoppage that earned them a draw against Lebanon. Hassan Maatouk put the home side ahead in the 12th minute and they held on valiantly until deep into stoppage time when Chi Woo Kim scored. South Korea stays on track to qualify for the World Cup, moving even on points with Uzbekistan at the top of Group A.

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