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Yamaguchi rescues Japan against Iraq in World Cup qualifier

Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Substitute Hotaru Yamaguchi’s 95th-minute winner rescued Japan and their stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign as they escaped with a 2-1 victory over Iraq on Thursday. The Blue Samurai were headed for an ignominious draw in Saitama when Yamaguchi smashed a loose ball from a corner through a forest of legs and into the Iraqi goal. The result gave Japan their second win in three final-round qualifiers and boosted under-fire coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who has endured calls for his resignation and has suffered reported player unrest.
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