Thanks in part to former Bremen player Yuya Osako, Japan celebrated their fourth win in a row in the World Cup qualifiers.
Osako gave Japan a 2-0 (1-0) lead against China with a penalty in the 13th minute. Junya Ito (61st) increased for the hosts. This leaves the four-time Asian champions second on 15 points behind Saudi Arabia (16).
Australia also kept up. The Socceroos celebrated an unchallenged 4-0 (2-0) win over Vietnam and are third, one point behind.
In two groups of six, only the first two of each season directly buy the ticket for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The two third-placed teams play against each other for the participants in the intercontinental playoff, in which another World Cup starting place is at stake.