Takumi Minamino and Junya Ito struck as Japan took a giant step toward the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar on Tuesday, beating Group B leaders Saudi Arabia 2-0 at home in the final Asian qualifying round.

The Samurai Blue moved up to 18 points, one behind Saudi Arabia, and can clinch their seventh straight berth at the finals by beating third-place Australia in an away fixture in March.

Instrumental so far in the campaign, Ito set up Minamino's first-half opener at Saitama Stadium before scoring a screamer after the break to become the second Japanese player to net in four straight final qualifying-round matches.