Syria beats Japan, Uzbekistan downs Australia

ROUFAN NAHHAS Associated Press Published:

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Syria boosted its chances of qualifying for the London Olympics with a 2-1 win over Japan on Sunday, while Australia is in danger of missing out after losing 2-0 to Uzbekistan.

Syria, looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat to Japan in November, pressed from the start. That paid off when Mohammad Fares' free kick deflected into the net off Japan striker Yuya Osako in the 19th minute.

Japan leveled in the 44th minute with an equalizer from Kensuke Nagai but Syria's Ahmed Saleh scored in the 90th minute.

In Tashkent, a goal in each half for Uzbekistan in frigid conditions saw it emerge as the favorite in Group B with two matches remaining.

Three teams from Asia will qualify and a fourth will be chose in playoff between Africa and Asia.