Soccer: Japan beat Vietnam 1-0 on Ito goal, close in on group leaders

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Japan strengthened their bid for automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Thursday, beating Vietnam 1-0 through an early Junya Ito goal. With Group B leaders Saudi Arabia and second-place Australia playing a scoreless draw earlier in the day, the Samurai Blue closed to within a point of the Socceroos and four of the Saudis at the halfway mark of the final Asian qualifying stage. The top two sides from each of the two Asian qualifying groups will automatically advance to the World Cup, with the third place nations facing off for a place in an intercontinental playoff. Japan too...

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