Japan easily sees off Oman

Comfortable win ... Japan players celebrate Ryoichi Maeda's goal (Getty Images)

Japan got off to a winning start in its bid to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Oman in Saitama.

Alberto Zaccheroni's side has reached the last four World Cup finals but the coach earlier warned the Blue Samurai not to expect qualification to be a formality.

It got off to a good start, Keisuke Honda putting it ahead after 12 minutes.

Two goals in three second-half minutes from Ryoichi Maeda and Shinji Okazaki completed the scoring in the Group B clash.

Japan now hosts Jordan on Friday before travelling to Brisbane where it faces a tough match against Australia on 12 June.

The other game in the group saw Jordan and Iraq share a 1-1 draw.

A trademark long-range strike from Nashat Akram gave the visitor the lead in the 14th minute but Jordan equalised two minutes before half-time when goalkeeper Mohammed Kassid fumbled Baha Suleiman's long-range shot into the path of Ahmad Ibrahim, who finished from close range.

In Group A, Iran produced a late sucker punch to snatch an ill-deserved 1-0 win in Uzbekistan.

The host dominated the game but failed to take its chances and Mohammad Khalatbari rounded off a 94th-minute counter-attack with a calm finish to rub salt in its wounds.

Elsewhere in Group A, Qatar won 1-0 in Lebanon in the day's final match.

Lebanon had only itself to blame, as Andres Quintana seized on Ramez Dayoub's poor backpass to put the visitor ahead in the 64th minute and Youssef Mohamad missed a glorious stoppage-time chance to level the match.

Source PA Sport