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Kuala Lumpur: Japan produced a steely display but were unable to stop Belgium from scoring a 1-0 win in a friendly in Bruges on Tuesday. 


In a meeting between two teams bound for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, Japan fell to their second straight defeat, having lost to Brazil 3-1 in a friendly last week.

Romelu Lukaku became Belgium's all-time record goalscorer by netting the winner, with the Manchester United striker heading in his 31st international goal from barely a yard out after some good play from Nacer Chadli, to take him clear of Paul Van Himst and Bernard Voorhoof.

There was to be no back-to-back wins for Korea Republic as they were held 1-1 by Serbia in a friendly in Ulsan on Tuesday.

Korea Republic had ended their recent winless run by beating Colombia on Friday but needed a penalty for a share of the spoils against Serbia.

The match against Serbia was part of Korea Republic's FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia preparations and both teams were evenly matched in the first half.

Adem Ljajic gave Serbia the lead in the 59th minute to silence the home fans.

They, however, were cheering again just four minutes later as Koo Ja-cheol converted from the penalty spot.

Fellow Asian FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers Islamic Republic of Iran's good run of form continued as Alireza Jahan Bakhsh's 57th minute strike gave them a 1-0 win over Venezuela on Monday.

The win stretched Iran's unbeaten run to 10 matches as Team Melli continue their Road to Russia preparations.

Iran, the first Asian team to confirm their berth for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, beat Panama 2-1 in a friendly on Thursday and are enjoying a rich vein of form.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, fell 1-0 to Bulgaria in their latest Road to Russia friendly on Monday.

Ivelin Popov scored Bulgaria's winner in the 81st minute and Saudi Arabia were reduced to 10 men two minutes later when Mansour Althaqfi Al Harbi was sent off. 

In friendly matches involving other Asian teams, China PR lost 4-0 to Colombia in a friendly played at the Chongqing Sports Centre Stadium on Tuesday.

Felipe Pardo scored Colombia's first goal in the fifth minute. 

Carlos Bacca hit the second in the 61st minute and Miguel Borja sealed the win with brace in the 66th and 89th minutes.

AFC Asian Cup 2019 hosts the United Arab Emirates defeated Uzbekistan, thanks to Ali Mabkhout's 16th minute strike, 1-0 at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium.

Photos: AFP