• Kyodo

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Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic cracked the whip on Monday and fired a warning shot at his team, ordering his players not to take Thailand lightly in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier.

Thailand is last in Group B with just one point from six games, and has little hope of qualifying for next year’s World Cup. Japan took another sure step toward Russia on Thursday when it beat the United Arab Emirates in Al Ain, a win that kept it level on points (13) with leader Saudi Arabia.

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