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World CupAsia - World Cup qualifiers - Australia vs Japan: Blue Samurais seal...

Asia – World Cup qualifiers – Australia vs Japan: Blue Samurais seal their spot in Qatar, leaving the Socceroos to fight it out in the play-offs

Asia – World Cup qualifiers: Australia vs Japan
It was a contest where the hosts needed to win at the Accor Stadium in Sydney to keep their chances of a direct spot in their hands. However, the club failed to gain any points at home against a brilliant Japanese national team.

As a result, the club is mathematically out of contention for a direct spot in the WC. They have got themselves 3rd position, which means they have to compete against the 3rd place team from the other group to enter the inter-confederation playoffs.

The fixture yesterday saw both teams chasing for the opener for much of the game. The match was approaching extra time after a goalless encounter.

However, Kaoru Mitoma who plays for Belgian side USG on loan from Brighton completes a brace in the dying moments to give his side a 0-2 win.

Asia – World Cup qualifiers: Australia vs Japan: Match report

Full-time score: Australia 0-2 Japan

Goals: Mitoma 90+4’, 89’.

Post-match reactions

Japan’s goalscorer, Kaoru Mitoma: “I knew it was going to be a close match so when I was on the bench all I was thinking was when I got on the field of play I just had to do my job and score a goal.

“I feel really happy for the players and people back in Japan, and everyone who is a Japanese fan.”

Australia coach Graham Arnold: “It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t get the result that we wanted. But at the end of the day we’ve got the third place spot and you’ve got to be positive about that. We’ve just got to move forward. I’ve always said I believe in these boys and it’s one game at a time.”