Japan booked their place in the 2018 World Cup with an emphatic 2-0 win over Australia in Saitama on Thursday that took their Asian arch-rivals’ hopes of qualifying for Russia out of their hands.Takuma Osano scored late in the first half before 21-year-old midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi covered himself in glory with a sumptuous finish in the 82nd minute as the Samurai Blue sealed a sixth straight appearance in the global showpiece. (Also Read: World Cup qualifiers: Marco Asensio, Andrea Belotti primed for starring roles in Spain-Italy showdown)Japan are now assured of finishing top of Group B in Asian qualifying before their final match away to second-placed Saudi Arabia, a match that Australia will watch nervously.Third-placed Australia will need a handsome victory over Thailand in their final qualifier and hope Japan can beat or draw with the Saudis, who have a better goal difference than the Socceroos. (Also Read: World Cup qualifiers: Spain, Italy lock horns to inch closer to direct qualification)Japan join Iran, Brazil and hosts Russia in the 32-team tournament, which will be held from June 14 to July 15 next year.
TweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — A New York judge on Nov. 16 rejected the requests of daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel for temporary restraining orders to block the state attorney general’s attempt to shut them down.In separate complaints filed Nov. 13 in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, FanDuel and DraftKings first asked a judge for an injunction, arguing that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrongly characterized their businesses as illegal gambling operations.On Nov. 16, Boston-based DraftKings and New York-based FanDuel asked Justice Manuel Mendez for an immediate restraining order to stop Schneiderman until they can present their case. Each said they face irreparable damage otherwise.DraftKings said it has 375,000 New Yorkers among some 2.5 million players, and that the attorney general told its vendors in letters that it was at risk of not doing business in New York anymore.FanDuel said it has over 1 million users, with “hundreds of thousands” in New York whose deposits it has been unable to process since Nov. 13.The company blamed that on Schneiderman’s office, saying it has already contacted the bank and payment processors handling FanDuel’s customer deposits and withdrawals, deterring them from continuing.Schneiderman’s lawyers told Mendez at a hearing late Nov. 16 that they hadn’t done anything to actually prevent the companies from doing business in New York, and therefore he couldn’t issue an order to stop it.Mendez agreed. “They have not taken action yet to somehow enjoin the plaintiff from continuing to engage in their business here in New York,” he said. He ordered them back to court on Nov. 25.The case began with cease and desist letters sent by the attorney general last week, warning DraftKings and FanDuel they should stop conducting illegal gambling in New York.DraftKings and FanDuel argue that they offer games of skill, not of chance, as defined New York’s gambling laws.DraftKings said it was “confident in our legal position” and intended to keep operating in the state.____By Deepti Hajela. AP writer Michael Virtanen in Albany, New York, contributed