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Australia, Iran, South Korea earn World Cup berths

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SANDY, Utah -- Three more teams earned places in next summer's World Cup in Brazil with Australia, Iran and South Korea all advancing through regional qualifying Tuesday.

Australia got a goal from substitute Josh Kennedy in the 83rd minute to beat Iraq, 1-0, before a crowd of 80,523 at Sydney's Olympic Stadium to finish second in its group in the Asian Football Confederation tournament.

Visiting Iran, meanwhile, got a score from Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 60th minute to beat South Korea, 1-0, and win Group A of the AFC event, qualifying for its fourth World Cup and first since 2006. South Korea advances for the ninth time, this year as the group runner-up.

Japan qualified for Brazil earlier this month, also out of the Asian Football Confederation, while Brazil is in the tournament field as the host country.

That leaves 84 nations competing for the 27 remaining spots in the 32-team tournament.

The United States can move a big step closer to earning its invitation with a win over Honduras on Tuesday in Sandy, Utah. The U.S. leads its six-team qualifying group halfway through the 10-game tournament and a win Tuesday, combined with a loss or tie from Costa Rica, would give the Americans a four-point lead with four games to play.

The top three teams from the North American, Central American and Caribbean region are guaranteed spots in the World Cup.

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