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Japan limbered up for next week’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq with a 1-1 draw with Syria in a friendly on Wednesday night.

Japan, which currently tops its qualifying group ahead of Saudi Arabia on goal difference and is looking to take a big step toward a place at a sixth straight World Cup against the Iraqis in Tehran on June 13, fell behind at Ajinomoto Stadium when Syria’s Mardek Mardkian scored with a header in the 48th minute.

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