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Japan Qualifies for World Cup Soccer


Japan has become the first team to qualify for next year's World Cup football (soccer) tournament in Germany, after scoring a 2-0 win over North Korea in Bangkok, Thailand.

The match was scoreless until Atsushi Yanagisawa scored for Japan in the 73rd minute. Masashi Oguro added the second score in the 89th minute to give Japan the win.

The contest was moved to Bangkok because of fan violence in Pyongyang in earlier games.

Japan now has 12 points from five matches, ahead of Iran in Asian Group-B. The Iranians play Bahrain later today (Wednesday) and need only a draw to qualify for next year's World Cup in Germany.

The top two teams in each of the two groups qualify for the World Cup. The third-placed teams from each group play a home-and-home playoff for fifth place.

Then, the winner of that playoff faces the fourth-placed team from the North-Central American-Caribbean region in a two-match playoff for a berth in the World Cup.

Some information for this report provided by AFP

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