Japan first to qualify for 2006 World Cup

Japan first to qualify for 2006 World Cup

BANGKOK – Japan beat North Korea 2-0 behind closed doors in Thailand on Wednesday to become the first team to qualify for the 2006 World Cup alongside hosts Germany.

Striker Atsushi Yanagisawa put the Asian champions in front in the 73rd minute and substitute Masashi Oguro added a second a minute from time to secure Japan’s third World Cup appearance. North Korea striker Kim Yong-su was sent off in stoppage time for stamping on Makoto Tanaka, who was lucky to escape a red card himself for lashing out at his opponent.Fifa moved the politically charged clash to Bangkok as punishment for crowd violence following North Korea’s 2-0 defeat by Iran in Pyongyang in March.Japan qualified for their first World Cup finals in 1998 and co-hosted the 2002 tournament with South Korea.- Nampa-ReutersNorth Korea striker Kim Yong-su was sent off in stoppage time for stamping on Makoto Tanaka, who was lucky to escape a red card himself for lashing out at his opponent.Fifa moved the politically charged clash to Bangkok as punishment for crowd violence following North Korea’s 2-0 defeat by Iran in Pyongyang in March.Japan qualified for their first World Cup finals in 1998 and co-hosted the 2002 tournament with South Korea.- Nampa-Reuters

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