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Soccer world cup qualifying rounds: Japan beats Australia, Denmark qualifies

An Australian own-goal kept Japan in the race for an automatic spot in next year’s World Cup.

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Soccer world cup qualifying rounds: Japan beats Australia, Denmark qualifies
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Australia defender Aziz Behich put the ball into his own net in the 85th minute Tuesday to give Japan a 2-1 victory and six points from four matches in Group B, three points behind the first-place Aussies.

Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan tipped a shot from Takuma Asano and the ball bounced off the post and then ricocheted off Behich and into the net.

“We kept fighting until the end and never gave up,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said. “We showed our determination to get to the World Cup.”

Only the top two teams from each of the two six-team groups will automatically qualify for the tournament in Qatar.

Ao Tanaka gave Japan an early lead at Saitama Stadium, but Ajdin Hrustic equalized for Australia in the 70th minute.

“Both teams had a go at each other,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said. “We were unlucky that we hit the post but ... at the end of the day, it wasn’t meant to be but we are on nine points after four games.”

Australia, which had won 11 straight games, was awarded a penalty kick midway through the second half when Hidemasa Morita brought down Hrustic on the edge of the area. But before Martin Boyle could take the kick, referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim of Qatar reversed the call after a video review, ruling that the challenge had taken place just outside the box.

Japan is seeking a seventh straight World Cup appearance. Australia has appeared at every World Cup since 2006.

“It was a great win for us but there are still a lot of difficult games to come,” Moriyasu said. “We have to make sure we build on this win.”

Saudi Arabia defeated fifth-place China 3-2 in Jeddah to record a fourth straight win and go three points clear at the top. In the group’s other fixture, Oman came from behind to defeat Vietnam 3-1 and go third, above Japan by virtue of scoring more goals.

In Group A, Iran and South Korea drew 1-1 in an empty stadium in Tehran.

Son Heung-min gave South Korea the lead early in the second half, running onto a through ball to curl a shot around the goalkeeper. With 14 minutes remaining, Alireza Jahanbakhsh headed Iran level to keep the team top of the group on 10 points, two more than second-place South Korea.

Lebanon is third with five points after a 3-2 win against Syria. In a meeting of Dutch coaches, Bert van Marwijk’s United Arab Emirates was held to a 2-2 draw by Dick Advocaat’s Iraq in Dubai, a result that leaves both teams on three points, two ahead of Syria in sixth.

-- Denmark qualifies for world cup -- 

Denmark became the second European team to qualify for next year’s World Cup by beating Austria 1-0 on Tuesday to maintain the team’s perfect record in its group.

Joakim Maehle’s 53rd-minute goal at Parken Stadium secured an eighth straight qualifying win for the Danes, who have yet to concede in Group F and have the only 100% record.

Germany was the first team to reach the 2022 tournament in Qatar via qualifying, sealing first place in its group on Monday.

Denmark came into World Cup qualifying without star midfielder Christian Eriksen, who is recovering from collapsing during the European Championship after suffering cardiac arrest, but as one of the best teams on the continent having still reached the semifinals at Euro 2020.

SOURCE: AP 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Health

'We are already working on vaccine against Covid's Omicron variant': Pfizer CEO

Pfizer has already started working on a version of its Covid-19 vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron variant in case the current inoculation is not effective against the new strain, the US drugmaker's CEO Albert Bourla said Monday.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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'We are already working on vaccine against Covid's Omicron variant': Pfizer CEO

Bourla told CNBC that his company on Friday began testing the current vaccine against the Omicron variant, which was first reported in South Africa and reignited fears of a global wave of Covid-19 infections.

"I don't think the result will be the vaccines don't protect," Bourla said.

But the testing could show that existing shots "protect less," which means "that we need to create a new vaccine," Bourla said.

"Friday we made our first DNA template, which is the first possible inflection of the development process of a new vaccine," he said.

Bourla likened the situation to the scenario earlier this year when Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech developed a vaccine in 95 days when there were concerns the previous formula would not work against Delta, though that version ultimately was not used.

The current vaccine is "very effective" against Delta, the executive said, adding that the companies expect to be able to produce four billion vaccine doses in 2022.

On Monday, the World Health Organization warned the new Covid-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk globally.

Bourla said he was also "very confident" that Pfizer's recently unveiled antiviral pill would work as a treatment for infections caused by the mutations, including Omicron.

Among newly-infected, high risk patients treated within three days of the onset of symptoms, Pfizer's pill has been shown to cut hospitalization or death by nearly 90 percent.

SOURCE: AFP/CNBC

 

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World

Kabul roadside blast causes casualties: Report

As per preliminary detail, the target of the attack appeared to have been an open-backed vehicle like a Toyota Hilux.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Kabul roadside blast causes casualties: Report

Kabul: A roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan capital Kabul caused at least five casualties, television station Ariana News said on Tuesday.

As per preliminary detail, the target of the attack appeared to have been an open-backed vehicle like a Toyota Hilux.

However, there were no further details and no official confirmation of the figures.

More to follow…

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Sports

'Chittagong test': Pakistan thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets

Pakistan chased down the 202-run target with eight wickets in hand.

Published by Mehak Javed

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'Chittagong test': Pakistan thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets

Dhaka: In the key match of Chittagong test, Pakistan thrashed Bangladesh by eight wickets Tuesday.

Pakistan chased down the 202-run target with eight wickets in hand.

It is pertinent to mention here that this was the second time in Pakistan’s Test history, which stretch 440 matches, that an opening pair recorded two century stands in a match.

Bangladesh had got off to a positive start with Mushfiqur hitting a boundary off the first ball of the morning, bowled by Hasan Ali.

But two balls later he left a delivery that darted back in and departed for 16 after Hasan uprooted his off-stump.

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