Japan sneak past Saudis in Saitama

Nov 15, 2016 - 12:58 PM A first-half penalty from Hiroshi Kiyotake helped Japan to a much-needed 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia in the third round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.

A handball in the area gave Kiyotake his opportunity in the 45th minute, and Genki Haraguchi added a second for Japan with 11 minutes remaining.

Omar Hawsawi scored for Saudi Arabia with a minute left.

The victory moves Japan level with Saudi Arabia with 10 points after five Group B games and marks the first loss for Saudi Arabia, which still holds the top spot on goal difference.

Australia are currently level at 1-1 with bottom-placed Thailand and need a win to go top of the group.

The top two teams in the two groups will qualify automatically for the World Cup, with the two third-place teams playing to decide which advances to the intercontinental playoffs.

Source: AAP

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