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Shu Kurata scores late as Japan beats New Zealand in friendly

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TOYOTA, Japan -- Yuya Osako and Shu Kurata scored second-half goals Friday as Japan beat New Zealand 2-1 in a friendly.

New Zealand managed to keep Japan off the scoreboard in the first half, but the hosts scored in the 50th minute.

Hotaru Yamaguchi earned a spot kick with a shot from outside the box that went off the right arm of Andrew Durante. Osako calmly converted for his seventh international goal.

Chris Wood equalised for New Zealand nine minutes later, but with three minutes left, Kurata...

Socceroos' World Cup playoff evokes memories of Uruguay miracle

Australia and Syria will go head-to-head in the first round of a series of playoffs on the road to next year's World Cup.

The opening leg on neutral soil in Malacca, Malaysia, on Thursday will be followed by the second leg in Sydney on Oct. 10.

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The winners will face the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF zone in another two-legged playoff for a place at Russia 2018.

Here are five memorable playoffs from around the region:

North Korea v Australia, Phnom Penh, 1965

It was the days before the World...

Brazil arranging England, Japan friendlies for November

Philippe Coutinho celebrates after scoring a goal for Brazil against Ecuador.
Brazil are looking for challenges outside of South America.

SAO PAULO -- Brazil are only a few bureaucratic details away from confirming friendlies against Japan and England in November.

The Brazilian Football Confederation are in advanced negotiations for matches against Japan in the French city of Lille and days later in London against England, spokesman Vinicius Rodrigues told the Associated Press on Friday.

Brazil and Japan have already qualified for the World Cup in Russia next year.

England lead Group F of European qualifiers by five points with two...

 By John Duerden

Thai skipper Theerathon chased by Cerezo Osaka in Japan - report

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts assess Chanathip Songkrasin's move to the J-League and what to expect moving forward.

Thailand captain Theerathon Bunmathan is being chased by Cerezo Osaka, according to reports in Japan and his homeland.

The 27-year-old defender could become the second Thai international to the J.League, following in the footsteps of Chanathip Songkrasin, on loan with Consadole Sapporo.

Nikkei Sports reports that Cerezo could make a move to bring the player in for the 2017 J.League season.

The left-back is one of the biggest names in Southeast Asian football. He first caught Japanese attention by...

 By John Duerden

Leeds United tracking Japan midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi - report

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill discuss their early impressions of Lukas Podolski at Japanese side, Vissel Kobe.
Japan qualified for their sixth straight World Cup following their 2-0 win over Australia.

Leeds United are on the trail of young Japanese international Yosuke Ideguchi, according to reports in Tokyo, with the Championship club ready to offer around £700,000 to trigger the midfielder's release clause.

Ideguchi hit the international headlines on Aug. 31 with a spectacular strike -- his first goal for his country -- to give Japan a 2-0 win over Australia in Saitama that sealed a place in the 2018 World Cup.

Sports Nippon reports that there is a high possibility of the deal going through...