Japan and South Korea open up leads

[WORLD CUP 2014 QUALIFYING ... Asia] After three days of play in the final round of World Cup 2014 qualifying in the Asian zone that has involved teams taking grueling flights to and from the Middle East and Far East and even farther, down under to Australia, Asian champion Japan, which has qualified for the last four World Cups, and South Korea, which has played in seven consecutive World Cup finals, have opened up leads in the two groups.

South Korea hammered Qatar in Doha, 4-1, and then flew home -- a distance of more than 4,400 miles -- where it beat Lebanon, 3-0, four days later for its second win.

Lee Keun Ho had two goals in the win over Qatar, while Kim Bo Kyung staked the Koreans to a 2-0 lead over Lebanon.

Iran was held to a 0-0 tie by Qatar in Tehran, and the two teams sit in second place two points behind South Korea in Group A.
 
Playing with 10 men, Australia temporarily halted Japan's run in Group B with a 1-1 tie in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Led by Manchester United target Shinji Kagawa, Japan had won its first two games by a margin of 9-0 and it still leads Group B by five points.

The Socceroos had to travel 7,000 miles from Oman, where they had opened group play with a 0-0 tie. They lost substitute Mark Milligan to a second yellow card early in the second half against Japan but could have won the game.

Luke Wilkshire's penalty tied the score after Yuzo Kurihara put Japan ahead, and Sasa Ognenovski hit the woodwork late in the game.

Group A
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
6 South Korea 2-0-0 7/1
4 Iran 1-1-0 1/0
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4 Qatar 1-1-1 2/4
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1 Uzbekistan 0-1-1 1/2
1 Lebanon 0-1-2 1/5

Group A
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
7 Japan 2-1-0 10/1
2 Iraq 0-2-0 2/2
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2 Australia 0-2-0 1/1
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2 Oman 0-2-1 1/4
1 Jordan 0-1-1 1/7

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