China coach Gao Hongbo resigns after 2018 World Cup setback

Genki Haraguchi scored an early goal but gave away a penalty as Japan drew 1-1 with Australia in a pulsating World Cup qualifier.

By: AP | Kuala Lumpur | Updated: October 11, 2016 11:16 pm
Japan vs Australia, Australia vs Japan, Australia vs Japan World Cup qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers, China vs Uzbekistan, iraq vs thailand, Football news, Football Hertha Berlin forward gave away a penalty early in the second half with a push on Tomi Juric. (Source: Reuters)

China coach Gao Hongbo resigned on Tuesday after a 2-0 defeat in Uzbekistan almost certainly ended hopes of automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Marat Bikmaev and Otabek Shukurov scored a goal each in Tashkent to leave China with just a single point from the first four games in Asia’s third round of qualification. The team, which lost 1-0 at home to Syria on Thursday, has only ever appeared at one World Cup, in 2002.

“I would like to thank the players and the fans for supporting me,” Gao said. “I think it is time to step down.”

Uzbekistan has nine points.

The top two of the six teams in Groups A and B will qualify automatically for the World Cup, with the two third-place teams going to a fourth-round match to decide which of them makes the intercontinental playoffs.

JAPAN 1, AUSTRALIA 1

A second-half penalty from Mile Jedinak gave Australia a 1-1 draw against Japan in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

Genki Haraguchi had put Japan ahead in the sixth minute after a mistake from the Australian backline, but the Hertha Berlin forward gave away a penalty early in the second half with a push on Tomi Juric.

Jedinak, who plays for Aston Villa, then scored from the spot.

“We expected a reaction from ourselves and that’s what we got,” Jedinak said. “second half we were a bit more patient, our movement was better and we put them on the back foot.”

The draw is Australia’s second in a row, following a 2-2 result against Saudi Arabia on Thursday, and leaves the Socceroos unbeaten with eight points from four Group B games. Japan has seven points.

“I think it was two points lost,” Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic said. “But we played well and had chances to win.”

The top two of the six teams in Groups A and B will qualify automatically for the World Cup, with the two third-place teams going to a fourth-round match to decide which of them makes the intercontinental playoffs.

 

IRAQ 4, THAILAND 0

Mohannad Abdulraheem scored all four goals as Iraq beat Thailand 4-0 for its first points in Group B.

Abdulraheem scored two goals in each half against a team that finished with 10 men after Koravit Namwiset was sent off with 20 minutes remaining.

Thailand has lost all four of its group games.

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