Marcello Lippi fails to inspire China while Australia draw 2-2 in Thailand

Marcello Lippi took charge of his first competitive game as China head coach.
Marcello Lippi was unable to inspire China to a win in his first game in charge as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Qatar in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Kunming on Tuesday evening.
The hosts are bottom of Group A in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup with just one point from the first four games, and the result almost certainly ends the slim hopes they had of finishing in the top two in the six-team group and progressing automatically to Russia.
China had plenty of chances but...
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Australia and Japan draw as China lose again in AFC World Cup qualifying

Mile Jedinak's penalty rescued Australia from a home 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying defeat, salvaging a 1-1 draw in Melbourne against Japan and keeping the Socceroos on course for Russia 2018.
The Japanese looked set for a smash-and-grab success after Genki Haraguchi's fifth-minute opener until Australia's captain restored parity early in the second half.









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A first half played at a snail's pace gave way to a helter-skelter second 45 minutes, allowing the Socceroos back into the Group B contest.
The...
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South Korea, Japan claw back to win 2018 AFC World Cup qualifiers

Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-Min struck the winner as South Korea followed Japan in recording late victories at home in 2018 AFC World Cup qualifying on Thursday night.
The Koreans trailed Qatar 2-1 in Suwon in Group A before firing two goals in two second-half minutes to win 3-2, despite being reduced to 10 men after Hong Jeong-Ho's 66th minute red card. 









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Son's go-ahead goal came in the 58th minute when he curled in a right-footed shot from the left-hand side of the box, two minutes after...
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Another UAE Panenka nightmare for Japan while Australia cruise past Iraq

If you want to make friends with football fans in Japan in the near future it's probably best not to mention the United Arab Emirates or Panenka penalties -- though a reference to needing goalline technology will be well-received.
Emotions are running high in the Land of the Rising Sun after losing 2-1 at home to UAE on Thursday evening in the opening game of the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Losing the first game in Group B was not part of the Saitama Stadium script but at...
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Spain stunned in loss to Georgia as Greece beat Australia in friendlies

Spain saw their 11-game unbeaten streak end in a 1-0 loss to Georgia in a friendly in Getafe on Tuesday night.
In their final warm-up before Euro 2016, La Roja were undone by a Tornike Okriashvili goal in the 40th minute. Jaba Jigauri's pass across the face of goal got past David De Gea and Okriashvili had the simplest of finishes.
There was a scary moment shortly after half-time when Georgia goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili clashed heads with Spain's Sergio Busquets. Revishvili was bloodied and had to...
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Thailand's Zico wants good WCQ start against Saudis, wary of Japan trio

Thailand's head coach Kiatisuk 'Zico' Senamuang insists his side are ready to spring a surprise despite being drawn in a tough group B for the final phase of AFC qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Thais have been placed in what looks the more difficult of the two qualifying groups, facing Asian champions Australia, regular World Cup finalists Japan and Middle Eastern heavyweights Saudi Arabia. They also have to play Iraq again -- having faced them in the previous round -- and the United...
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Thailand's Zico unafraid of Japan and Australia in AFC WCQ final round

Thailand will face Asian giants Australia and Japan in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
The War Elephants were placed in Group B at the draw held in Malaysia on Tuesday, with the two heavyweights, as well as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Kiatisuk Senamuang's men kick-off their first final round campaign since 2002 on Sept. 1 at Saudi Arabia before hosting four-time Asian champions Japan five days later.
"We always knew it was going to be a tough draw for us,"...
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WCQ: Australia, Japan in Group B, South Korea meet Iran in Group A

Australia and Japan will meet in the final round of 2018 AFC World Cup qualification for the third successive time following the draw made in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday afternoon.
The Samurai Blue and the Socceroos developed a major rivalry after clashes at the 2006 World Cup, qualification for the 2010 and 2014 global tournaments and the 2011 Asian Cup final which Japan won 1-0.
Both will be hoping to finish in the top two spots in Group B and qualify automatically for Russia.


#AFCWCQ | Group B

Australia
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China keep alive their 2018 World Cup hopes, as Australia and Japan cruise

China completed a remarkable transformation in their 2018 World Cup AFC qualifying campaign after a 2-0 victory over Qatar saw them advance to the third round on the road to Russia. 
Facing elimination if they failed to win in Xian, China brought the game to life just before the hour. Qatari goalkeeper Amine Lecomte saved from point-blank range but was helpless as the rebound was hit against the underside of the bar and bounced out.
The ball found its way to Huang Bowen, whose shot on the turn...
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Australia, Jordan cruise in World Cup qualifiers as Thailand, Japan advance

Australia hammered Tajikistan 7-0 in AFC World Cup qualifying in Ange Postecoglou's biggest win as head coach on Thursday.
The Socceroos went ahead through Massimo Luongo in the second minute, then Mile Jedinak slotted home a penalty in the 13th and went into the break at 2-0.
However, the floodgates opened in the second half as another penalty from Mark Milligan made it 3-0 in the 57th minute and Nathan Burns and Tomas Rogic both netted braces in the latter stages to put a gloss on the scoreline.

Australia...
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