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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Wednesday World Cup ties round-up
Japan celebrate qualifying for next year's World Cup in Germany
Japan will be in Germany in 2006
Japan, Iran, South Korea and Saudi Arabia will join hosts Germany at next year's World Cup after securing qualification from the Asia section.

Japan beat North Korea 2-0 thanks to Atsushi Yanagisawa and Masashi Oguro, while Iran defeated Bahrain 1-0 with a goal from Mohammad Nosrati.

South Korea reached their sixth straight World Cup with a crushing 4-0 victory in Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia qualified by beating Uzbekistan 3-0 in Riyadh.

Their goals came from Sami al-Jaber (2) and Saad al-Harthi.

Argentina also booked their place in Germany with a 3-1 win over Brazil.

In the qualifying sections in Europe, Holland remain top of World Cup Group One after beating Finland 4-0 away.

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie came on to help create goals for Dirk Kuyt and Philip Cocu and score one himself after Ruud van Nistelrooy had given the Dutch a first-half lead.

The Dutch are one point ahead of the Czech Republic, who hammeredMacedonia 6-1.

Jan Koller scored four goals, with Liverpool striker Milan Baros and Tomas Rosicky also getting on the scoresheet.

Romania kept up the pressure on the top two with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Armenia, Gigel Bucur scoring twice on his debut to help his country stay in third, six points behind the Dutch.

In Group Two Ukraine stunned European champions Greece with a late second-half goal in Athens to close in on a World Cup spot.

Ukraine need just one win from their remaining three matches to secure qualification for their first major tournament.

Eight minutes from time Andriy Gusin intercepted a ball outside the box and curled it past keeper Antonis Nikopolidis.

The defeat left Greece in third place, a point behind Turkey, who hammered Kazakhstan 6-0 with Fatih Tekke and Tuncay Sanli scoring two goals each.

A header from Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal a 1-0 away win over Estonia to keep them three points clear at the top ofGroup Three.Ronaldo headed home a cross from Luis Figo, back for his second match after his brief international retirement.

Portugal lead the standings with 20 points from eight matches, followed by Slovakia, 4-0 winners in Luxembourg, on 17 from eight.

Russia, who did not have a competitive game, have 14 points from seven games, with Latvia, who beat Liechtenstein 1-0, fourth on 13 points.

Spain needed a last-gasp equaliser from Carlos Marchena to salvage a point against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Valencia in Group Seven.

Marchena's goal came in the seventh minute of stoppage time after Bosnia had had two players - Nedim Halilovic and Mirsad Beslija - sent off late on.

Bosnia had taken a first-half lead through Zvjezdan Misimovic and looked on course for a shock win.

But Halilovic was red-carded in the 88th minute as was Beslija just before Marchena's equaliser. The Republic of Ireland kept their hopes of World Cup qualification alive with a 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

The win took the Irish top of Group Four, having collected 13 points from seven games in one of the most tightly contested qualifying sections.

Switzerland are second in the group, a point behind Irelandbut with a game in hand, followed by Israel on 11 points andFrance on 10.

The Faroes contained the Irish in the first-half but their resistance was broken when Ian Harte scored with a penalty after goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen brought down striker Stephen Elliott.

Kilbane doubled the lead six minutes later, scoring from the edge of the box thanks to a deflection off Faroes captain Oli Johannesen.

Scotland remain outsiders to qualify from Group Five after a 0-0 draw with Belarus in Minsk.

The draw left Belarus in fourth place with seven points from six matches and Scotland in fifth a point behind.

Italy lead on 13 points, with Norway and Slovenia four points behind.

Belarus dominated for long periods and Scotland, missing several key players through injury and suspension, had their goalkeeper Craig Gordon to thank for preserving a clean sheet.


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