By Paul Osborne

Keisuke Honda helped Japan to a 2-0 win over Jordan in the final Group D fixture ©Getty ImagesDefending champions Japan have secured safe passage to the Asian Cup quarter-finals as Group D winners with a comfortable 2-0 win over Jordan.

A third goal in as many games for 2011 Asian Cup MVP (Most Valuable Player) Keisuke Honda set the Asian giants on their way before a late second from Shinji Kagawa saw the four-time winners secure all three points.

Japan needed just a point from the fixture to ensure their spot in the knockout phase following wins over Iraq and Palestine, but put on an impressive display in front of the 25,000 crowd at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, nonetheless.

They will now play Group C runners-up United Arab Emirates for a spot in the final four.

Jordan came into the fixture level on points with Iraq and were looking for a result to keep their hopes of a quarter-final space alive.

This was dealt a huge blow 24 minutes in as Jordan goalkeeper Amer Shafi could only parry Shinji Okazaki's angled strike from Takashi Inui's clever pass across goal and Honda was on hand to net from a tight angle.

Despite their best efforts, Jordan's fate was then sealed with just eight minutes to go when a cross from substitute Yoshinori Muto found the onrushing Kagawa close to the penalty spot, whose first-time strike had too much zip for Shafi and crept its way into the back of the net.

Younus Mahmood nodded home his first goal of the tournament to set Iraq on their way to a quarter-final berth ©Getty ImagesYounus Mahmood nodded home his first goal of the tournament to set Iraq on their way to a quarter-final berth ©Getty Images

Two second half goals confirmed Iraq's spot in the quarter-finals where they will meet arch-rivals Iran.

Goals from Younus Mahmood and Ahmed Yasin secured the 2007 winners a 2-0 win over a brave Palestine, who exit the tournament with a minus 11 goal difference following 4-0 and 5-1 thrashings from Japan and Jordan respectively.

Mahmood's first goal of the tournament came in the 48th minute as he rose highest from an Ali Adnan corner to direct a firm header past Palestine's back-up goalkeeper Tawfiq Abduhammad.

The header put an end to the striker's goal-scoring woes and means he has now scored in four consecutive continental championships since he first appeared at the 2004 edition.

Hopes of a second of the night for the Iraqi frontman were cut short when the impressive Abduhammad saved from the spot, diving low to his left to parry away Mahmood's tame effort.

The miss was not to prove costly, however, with Yasin firing home a low effort from the edge of the area to wrap up all three points just two minutes from time.

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