Honda-driven Japan first team to qualify for 2014 World Cup
June 4, 2013 -- Updated 1525 GMT (2325 HKT)
Japan's Keisuke Honda is mobbed by his teammates after scoring a 91st-minute penalty.
- Japan becomes the first country to qualify for 2014 World Cup in Brazil
- Keisuke Honda's 91st-minute penalty secures a 1-1 draw with Australia
- Japan will now head to Brazil for the forthcoming Confederations Cup
- Sven-Goran Eriksson appointed head coach of Chinese club Guangzhou R & F
(CNN) -- An injury-time penalty from Keisuke Honda fired Japan into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making the Samurai Blue the first country to qualify for next year's tournament in Brazil.
With Japan needing to avoid defeat in order to clinch one of the 32 places with a game to spare, playmaker Honda converted a late spot-kick to level the score at 1-1 after Australia had taken a surprise lead through Tommy Oar's speculative cross with eight minutes remaining.
Tuesday's point means Alberto Zaccheroni's Japan are seven points clear at the top of Asian qualifying's Group B and assured of a place in a fifth consecutive World Cup.
The top two teams from each of Asia's five-country groups advance, with both third-placed teams entering a playoff.
José Mourinho's press conference antics
Mourinho returns to Chelsea
Blog: Can Chelsea go "Back to the Future?"
The winner of that two-legged tie plays the fifth-placed team from the South American section to decide who goes to the tournament. Brazil, as host nation, has does not need to qualify.
Oman also enjoyed a fruitful Tuesday as they leaped from second bottom in Group B to second top after beating Iraq 1-0 in Muscat thanks to Ismail Al Ajmi's goal in first half stoppage time.
The Omanis' nine points are now two better than both Australia and Jordan, but the latter pair have a match in hand.
This will be played when the Socceroos, who have qualified for the last two World Cups, host Jordan in Melbourne next Tuesday.
The result of that match will determine what each team needs to do in their final qualifier on June 18, when Group B concludes with Australia at home again, against Iraq, while Oman travel to Jordan.
Japan's next commitment is the forthcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil, a warmup event for 2014's four-yearly showpiece.
Zaccheroni's Asian champions play hosts Brazil in the competition's opening game on June 15.
Read: Neymar vows to help Messi
Elsewhere in Asia, former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been named head coach of Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R & F.
The Swede, who has also coached Manchester City, Lazio, Roma and Ivory Coast during a 36-year managerial career, has left his post as technical director of United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr.
"The club's board of directors has today officially hired Sven-Goran Eriksson as Guangzhou football coach until December 2014," read a statement from the club, which is 13th in the 16-team CSL.
"Coach Li Bing will from today no longer serve as the acting head coach."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.