World champions Japan today qualified for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament London 2012, booking one of two Asian tickets with a match to spare.
Korea DPR are favourites to also progress from the six-nation tournament being held in Jinan, China, requiring just a point off Thailand on Sunday in the final round, with the south-east Asians losing all four matches to date.
Japan and Korea DPR played out a 1-1 draw in the penultimate matchday with the point enough to guarantee passage for the Nadeshiko who had won all three of their earlier matches.
A Kim Nam Hui own goal saw Japan take the lead seven minutes from full time, only for Korea DPR to earn a share of the points with an injury-time equaliser from substitute Kim Jo Ran.
Fellow Germany 2011 participants Australia edged a 1-0 victory against host nation China PR with Emily Van Egmond’s goal just past the hour mark keeping the Matildas slim hopes alive.
Korea Republic defeated Thailand 3-0 for their first win of the tournament in the other match.
Japan leads the table with ten points, followed by Korea DPR (8), Australia (6), China PR (5), Korea Republic (4) and Thailand (0).
The final round of matches will see Japan meet China, Australia face Korea Republic and Korea DPR against Thailand.
The other nations to confirm their participation at London 2012 to date are France, Sweden, Brazil and Colombia, while Great Britain will participate as the host nation.