Soccer: Ito scores again to keep Japan 2nd in World Cup qualifying

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Kyodo News

Japan took a small step toward qualifying for this year’s World Cup as Junya Ito scored for the third straight game in Samurai Blue’s 2-0 win over China in an Asian Group B final-round qualifier on Thursday. The win at Saitama Stadium kept manager Hajime Moriyasu’s side second in the group on 15 points from seven games. Group leaders Saudi Arabia, with 16 points from six games, play Japan here on Tuesday. The group’s top two teams earn spots at the finals in Qatar that start in November. Japan applied pressure early and were awarded a penalty kick when a sliding China defender could not get hi…

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