DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- The United Arab Emirates ended Australia's hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, winning 1-0 on Wednesday to bolster its own chances of playing at the Games for the first time.
In other Olympic qualifiers, Japan strengthened its chances of advancing to the London Games with a comprehensive 4-0 win over winless Malaysia in Group C. Also, Qatar ended Saudi Arabia's chances of advancing with a 2-1 victory in the Group A encounter. Qatar lies third, behind South Korea and Oman.
In Abu Dhabi, Australia set the pace early and had several good chances. Aaron Mooy forced the UAE keeper Khalid Eisa to make a diving save in the 15th minute and then five minutes later Eisa saved a shot from Oliver Bozanic with his feet.
UAE went on the counterattack. Striker Ahmed Khalil fired in a blistering free kick that Australia keeper Matthew Ryan just got a hand on. Then seconds later, UAE midfielder Omar Abdulrahman collected a backheel pass from Rashad Eisa in the 22nd minute and fired a shot underneath a diving Ryan for the only goal.
Australia pressed late in the first half and nearly scored when Mate Dugandzic's effort clipped the crossbar in the 40th minute. It didn't create another good chance in the second half, leaving the team bottom of Group B and without a goal in the competition.
UAE tops Group B after Iraq beat Uzbekistan 2-1 Tuesday. The Gulf nation now needs only a draw in its away match against Uzbekistan March 14 to qualify for the Olympics.
Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, fell behind in the 12th minute after defender Ahmed Ali Walibi scored a penalty. But the home side were on level terms two minutes from the interval courtesy of skipper Hasan Al Haydos. Naser Nabeel sealed the victory 12 minutes from time.
In Kuala Lumpur, Japan rebounded from a shock loss to Syria by overwhelming Malaysia.
Hiroki Sakai opened the scoring in the 35th minute before Yuya Osako added the second a minute from halftime. Genki Haraguchi made it 3-0 10 minutes into the second half before debutant Manabu Saito sealed the win on the hour mark with his first goal for the Olympic team.