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Australia launch World Cup bid with win

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Asian powers Australia, Japan and South Korea all made emphatic starts to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaigns Wednesday with convincing wins.

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill scored one goal and came close four other times as Australia downed Qatar 3-0.

Striker Josh Kennedy of German club Karlsruhe opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he headed home from close range following a cross from Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton.

Cahill made it 2-0 seven minutes later when he leapt above the Qatar defenders and headed from a corner.

Australia maintained unrelenting pressure on Qatar, having several attempts at goal before Mark Bresciano drove in a powerful shot under a diving Mohamed Saqar in the 33rd minute.

Yasuhito Endo scored from a 21-minute to set Japan on the way to a 4-1 win over Thailand in snowy conditions at Saitama.

Thailand’s goalkeeper Kosin Hathairattanakool was rooted to the spot as Endo’s freekick drifted into the bottom corner.

Teeratep Winothai equalised with a fierce shot a minute later and Japan had to wait until the 54th minute to reclaim the lead when Yoshito Okubo pounced on a rebound in the box amidst a sloppy defensive display by the visitors

Thailand’s hopes of a recovery looked bleak when Narongchai Vachiraban was shown a second yellow card for pulling down Yuji Nakazawa.

Nakazawa headed home a free-kick on 66 minutes to stretch Japan’s advantage to 3-1 before substitute forward Seiichiro Maki completed the scoring in time added on.

World Cup qualifiers are not easy and the weather made it even more difficult, said Okubo. This was a good result for us and I’m happy I was able to contribute.

The temperature at kickoff was just two degrees Celsius (36 F) and snow fell throughout the match.

Manchester United-based Park Ji-sung’s first goal for his country since the 2006 World Cup and two from Seol Ki-hyeon of Fulham helped South Korea stroll to a comfortable 4-0 win over Turkmenistan.

Kwak Tae-hwi struck a minute before half-time to open the scoring and smash the visitors’ stubborn resistance — the goal breaking a goalscoring drought for Korea that had stretched to nine hours.

Seol was on target after 57 and 83 minutes with Park Ji-Sung making his mark on 70.

Hawar Taher converted a penalty after 50 minutes to put Iraq ahead in Dubai against China who equalised after 75 minutes through Zheng Zhi. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Australia launch World Cup bid with win – found here.

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February 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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