• JAPAN CELEBRATES WORLD CUP BERTH

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    TOKYO: Keisuke Honda was elevated to national hero Wednesday with banner front pages hailing his last gasp equalizer against Australia that secured Japan’s berth to the World Cup. The CSKA Moscow midfielder banged home a stoppage time penalty at Saitama Stadium near Tokyo to give the Asian champions the draw they needed to propel them to Brazil as the first team to qualify. The 1-1 result left the Asian champions seven points clear and uncatchable in Group B, putting them through to their fifth straight World Cup. It was the first time they have sealed qualification on home soil.

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