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Australia sweep aside Qatar 4-0
Japan draw 1-1 with Uzbekistan as Korea smash UAE 4-1 in Asian World Cup qualifiers.
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2008 15:03 GMT

Cahill and Alkhalfan Khalfan Ibrahim compete for the ball [GALLO/GETTY] 
Brett Emerton slammed a double and fellow European stars Tim Cahill and Josh Kennedy also got on the scoresheet as Australia outclassed Qatar 4-0 in their Asian World Cup qualifier.

Elsewhere Japan drew 1-1 with Uzbekistan and Korea dominated UAE with a scoreline of 4-1, making it almost impossible for UAE to qualify for the World Cup.

Australian form

The Australians followed up their 3-0 and 3-1 wins over the Gulf side for their third comprehensive victory in eight months of this year's World Cup qualifying.

The Socceroos leapfrogged Qatar to the top of Group A with their second victory of the final qualifying phase, setting themselves up nicely for their next assignment away to Bahrain on November 19.

Dominating

Australia, looking for back-to-back trips to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa after reaching the knockout round in Germany two years ago, were good value for their victory and had the game wrapped up on the hour.

The result never looked in doubt after Cahill continued his amazing near one-in-two scoring rate for his country with a rapier finish in the ninth minute.

A long ball from Luke Wilkshire was helped on by David Carney and Kennedy to leave the Everton poacher unmarked on the left-hand side of the box to drill home for his 14th goal in 29 internationals.

Cahill was in the action again eight minutes later when he was impeded by Abdulla Koni as he attempted a mid-air volley and was awarded a penalty with Koni yellow carded.

Emerton wins the ball [GALLO/GETTY]
Confident performance

Blackburn Rovers' Emerton converted from the spot to give the confident Australians a two-goal buffer.

The Socceroos came close to increasing their margin in the 20th minute when an error from goalkeeper Abdulla Abdulaziz almost allowed Kennedy in to score and from the rebound the ever-present Cahill fired just wide of the right post.

The home side took their foot off the pedal late in the opening half enabling the Qataris to come more into the game and Brazilian import Fabio Montesin was astray with two long-range efforts.

Qatar quiet

Magid Hassan gave the Australians their only anxious moment of the half when he fired across the goalmouth but no Qatari player was there to connect.

The Australians wrapped it up with Emerton's second goal of the night, finishing off lead-up play from strikers Scott McDonald and Kennedy to ram the ball home in the 59th minute for a 3-0 advantage.

It was Emerton's fourth goal in Australia's last two games against Qatar.

Karlsruhe beanpole striker Kennedy capped a fine match when he headed home Wilkshire's deep cross for Australia's fourth goal with 14 minutes left.

Crowd favourite

Coach Pim Verbeek brought off Emerton minutes from the end to the acclaim of the 34,000 home crowd.

The kick-off was delayed for 30 minutes after a fierce electrical storm deluged the ground.

The Qataris must now regroup under their new French coach Bruno Metsu for their third home match of the series against Japan next month.

Timur Kapadze, right, of Uzbekistan and Makoto Hasebe of Japan fight for the ball [GALLO/GETTY] 
Japan 1, Uzbekistan 1

Japan were held to a 1-1 draw by Uzbekistan piling more pressure on coach Takeshi Okada.

Uzbekistan took the lead against the run of play, striker Maksim Shatskikh sliding in to score from close range after 26 minutes in Saitama.

Japan equalised through striker Keiji Tamada, who bundled home Yoshito Okubo's pull-back five minutes before halftime.

Tamada went close from distance in the 71st before blazing over from the resulting corner as Japan pushed for the winner but Uzbekistan were worthy of a point.

The result leaves Japan second in Group A behind Australia who have a maximum six points.

Japan trailing

Japan beat Bahrain 3-2 in Manama last month in their opening match of the final round of Asian regional qualifiers, while Uzbekistan had lost their first two games.

Korea 4, UAE 1

Park Ji-Sung in dominating form [GALLO/GETTY]
Manchester United star Park Ji-sung scored a goal and Lee Keun-ho netted twice in South Korea's 4-1 win over United Arab Emirates in Wednesday's World Cup Asian qualifier.

UAE pulled a goal back in the second half but Lee sealed the win with his second with 10 minutes remaining and Kwak Tae-hwi headed a late fourth.

The defeat virtually ends UAE's chances of a second appearance at the World Cup.

The West Asians have lost all three Group B fourth-round matches to date.

Korea attacking

South Korea started aggressively, missing a host of chances in the opening period.

The 2002 World Cup semifinalist was soon rewarded, however, with two goals in quick succession.

Lee, who had already gone close, ran on to a through pass from Lee Young-pyo to fire past Majed Naser in the UAE goal from inside the area after 20 minutes.

Park firing

Park doubled the lead five minutes later, shooting fiercely into the top left corner after skipping past a defender on the edge of the penalty box.

UAE is all but out of the World Cup [GALLO/GETTY]
UAE, which lost its first two matches at home to North Korea and Saudi Arabia and then lost coach Bruno Metsu to Qatar, rarely threatened.

It capitalised on a rare chance in the 71st, when Cho Yong-hyung gave the ball away inside the area and substitute Ismail Salem scored.

South Korea's next match is in Saudi Arabia on November 19 while UAE hosts Iran on the same day.

Asian route

Ten Asian nations have been divided into two groups of five for this round.

The top two in each group automatically progress to South Africa 2010 while the two third-place teams enter a series of playoffs.

Source:
Agencies
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