Yuya Kubo opened his national team account and Yasuyuki Konno marked his return from the international wilderness with a goal as Japan beat United Arab Emirates 2-0 away in a final-round World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.

In only his third international appearance, Belgian-based forward Kubo opened the scoring with a sweetly taken strike on 13 minutes, and then set up veteran Gamba Osaka midfielder Konno early in the second half to help Japan avenge their shock 2-1 defeat at home to the Emiratis in September.

The result keeps Japan, which hosts Thailand at Saitama on Tuesday, even with Group B leaders Saudi Arabia on 13 points, three ahead of Australia and four ahead of UAE.