Japan wins 1-0 to end Iraq's World Cup hopes | Inquirer Sports

Japan wins 1-0 to end Iraq’s World Cup hopes

/ 10:33 AM June 12, 2013

Japan’s Shinji Okazaki, left, and Shinji Kagawa celebrate after scoring the first goal during their 2014 World Cup Asian zone qualifying soccer match between Iraq and Japan at the Al -Arabi Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. AP/Osama Faisal

DOHA, Qatar  — Japan ended Iraq’s chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup by scoring late to win 1-0 in a match played in the neutral territory of Qatar.

Iraq enjoyed plenty of possession and created several chances in the opening half at Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, but Japan made it pay with an 89th-minute goal from Shinji Okazaki on a counterattack.

Japan, which has already qualified, moved to 17 points from eight games. Iraq has five points, with its final match at Australia next Tuesday. The second and final automatic qualifying spot is between Australia, Oman and Jordan.

Iraq had Alaa Abdul-Zahra sent off in the 82nd after received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for kicking an opponent in the face while attempting an overhead kick.

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TAGS: Football, Iraq, Japan, Qatar, Soccer, World Cup

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