soccer

Australia, Japan draw 1-1 in World Cup qualifier

69 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

69 Comments
Login to comment

Damn that was dirty game.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Any rumours on where the return leg might be?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Obviously Japan still has to get with its game. Sounds like it was a great match, but given the fact that Japan should have won it hands down, they did pretty awful. I see Honda was at his best -- no goals and a yellow card to boot -- but awesome on Australia for their performance. It's just such a shame that one shot hit the cross bar and didn't go in. Despite the draw, Japan lost this game hands down.

Thank god I don't have to hear about this game all week and instead can bring it up to quiet a room.

-16 ( +4 / -19 )

So Japan draws, away from home, with the team that was favourites to win the group and that's the same as a defeat? Utter tosh.

It wasn't a great game, but Japan will be a lot happier with a point than Australia. Japan are sitting pretty at the top of the group and Australia are already 5 points behind. Hopefully the ref will never be allowed to referee another game after that. He was awful.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Compared to the bore-fests that are being played out in Eastern Europe right now, it was nice to get a good, tough game where both teams were going for the win.

Both teams will be happy with a point. Australia need points against Jordan and Iraq, Japan are just about on their way to Brazil.

And the referee, yes he made some very soft calls. Some of the referees in the AFC baffle me as to how to how they obtained their credentials.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Just watched some laughable evening report on the game. The commentators highlighted the poor PK decision, which it was, and every other diputable refereeing decision that went against the Samurai Blue. But they unsurprisingly failed to mention at all how dubious and soft Milligan's second yellow was which gave Japan a man advantage from the 55th minute. If we're gunna take a count of the poor decisions they probably evened themselves out but that red card was by far the most costly decision of the game. Japan capitalised on that not long later and they thought they'd won it. I agree that this Japanese team is probably their best ever, despite the lack of a striker, so the effort by the Socceroos to come back was really gutsy. Not bad for a bunch of over-the-hill veterans who were jet-lagged and leg-weary after playing in 41 degree heat in Oman just a few days ago. We could have won it too bar the woodwork denying us but a draw was possibly fair in the end. Well done lads!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

we had a lot more chances from midway! of course when your playing a ten man side, Japan had a lot easier draw virtually no jetlag, (Australias last game played in really humid conditions and a 16 hour return flight) and then couldnt win it playing against a ten man side, Id be really pee`d to let that chance slip away.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

To the credit of the Australian commentators (for once!) they did remark on how soft the penalty decision was, as they remarked on how soft the second yellow card for each player was.

smithinjapan did you even watch the game, or understand it? Honda was one of the best on-field of either team, he was really sparkling. The reluctance of Japanese forwards to have a shot, and instead to pass their way up and pass the ball into the net (which, when it works, is a thing of beauty) was all that stopped it being 3 goals to Japan. Schwarzer looked a little wobbly and I'd have tested him a little more with a few rangey efforts.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

And to DentShop, this is a group stage so there are plenty of other games to come before Australia head to Japan. That match comes up on 4th June, 2013.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Almost certainly in Saitama Stadium 2002.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Almost certainly in Saitama Stadium 2002

Any reason for your certainty?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan cries and cries, and people thumb me down because they are upset about the result, but guess what: the result does not change! Japan could not beat Australia and the girly-boys in the Japan squad (with their lovely bleached hair) couldn't do a thing but stand by and watch as their poor performance got called into play.

Japan sucked in this game, and Australia, the team that admitted it was the underdog, robbed them.

I look forward to more thumbs down as you cry in your drinks, people. Japan lost. Cry and click.

-20 ( +7 / -26 )

I laugh at the excuses -- "It was an away game". "There was jet-lag" (after three days). etc. But that's from the few people who actually bother to address that a game took place. 90% of Japan won't admit anything occurred because they're busy trying to think of how they can be a victim since they're not the victor, so look forward to.... nothing, I guess.

-19 ( +6 / -24 )

wtjapan: "we had a lot more chances from midway! of course when your playing a ten man side, Japan had a lot easier draw virtually no jetlag, (Australias last game played in really humid conditions and a 16 hour return flight)"

Any other excuses you'd care to throw in?

-21 ( +3 / -23 )

Banz: Of COURSE they are going to make excuses as to why it was not the slaughter Japan for some reason expected it to be. The wanted it to 'Zacck Japan' today but tomorrow will blame the foreign coach for the team's performance (despite being ready to go down on their knees and thank him if Japan won). It's not Honda's special ability to kick over the net -- or otherwise, it's a foreign country's fault. Hopefully all the commentators are literally slapped in the face as they still scream HONDA KEISUKEI.... HONDA KEISUKEI and forget there's a game going.... until the excuses roll in of course.

Here's how it works: Japan played well against an underdog, or an underrated team beat the crap out of the top rated team. Japan's choice.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Meant to say I'm looking forward to the thumbs down from the whiners.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Heda: "There speaks someone who clearly doesn't have a clue about football or qualification."

Next excuse?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Heda: It's past midnight, dude... hurry up and give the cheese with your whine. Why is it so hard to swallow that Japan didn't win, and even harder to swallow the media here is a joke? Anyway, let me know how that whine tastes.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I believe Japan would of settled for a draw which would put them at 7 points. What is Australia's total?

In any case, the FIFA ranking puts Japan at #23 while Australia is #24. In addition to the above and the fact that Japan was playing in Australia, I'd say that if you had to decide who "lost", I'm thinking Australia.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

smithinjapan - Just to be clear, I don't use the thumbs down option, but I don't think anybody is pressing that button because they are upset with the result. I don't see anybody making any excuses actually (Japan or Australia fans). Pretty much everybody agreed that the ref was atrocious, but that it went both ways and the game was at the very least, extremely entertaining. The only person here with any sort of rage is you, which is odd because you seem happier with the result than anybody. Why a draw has turned into a hissy fit about "90% of Japan" is beyond me.

14 ( +14 / -1 )

Everybody calm down. This is just a soccer game.

A draw away from home at the team that was favourite to win the group is a good result. You seem clearly unable to either believe that or understand that. But Japan have 7 points from 3 games, including playing their toughest game. Australia, on the other hand have just 2 points and are five points behind Japan.

It's really not that difficult to understand.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

Both teams are about equal in ability. Australia are more physical but Japan concentarte more or technique, the equal themselves out really.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It was an interesting game. Honda played well. The sports news coverage I watched covered all the controversial decisions, including the call that got the Australian player tossed. I think some people need to watch a different channel for their sports coverage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Damn Honda was once again amazing. What a difference he makes everytime he's on the team. I can't wait for the next match.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Terrible game by the ref. He ruined what should have been a badly played scoreless draw.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I agree with others, Honda was man of the match for me. The ref tried his best to ruin the game.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But Honda, who scored three goals in Japan’s 6-0 win over Jordan last Friday, and Kawaga were more dangerous at the other end, providing opportunities that went begging.

the same old story for Japan - frontline players who have trouble converting

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okay, I'm a non-soccer expert. But to me that was one of the more exciting games I've seen in a while. Smith, I'm surprised you thought the Japanese were so bad. I thought they were great, getter than the Aussies, but I'm proud that the Aussies put up such a good show esp with one man down.

I'll admit that I don't understand referee's decisions, but that's another reason why soccer isn't my favorite sport - seems like the decisions are subjective. Maybe instead of bagging the Japanese team, you can praise the Aussies? :)

But here's my biggest beef, and the soccer (football) fans will lynch me. Why do they insist on this stupid timing system when nobody knows how much time there is left???????!!!!!!!!

Watch an important game and every second counts but you just have this vague idea of about 3 minutes left?!? Crazy! Stop the clock and have it up on a big screen so the fans, and the players know exactly how much time they have. Wished we could have seen the last kick by Honda.

Anyway, fix the refereeing and invest in a clock.

And with that, I await the biggest dislike count in history!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

totally agree with you smithinjapan, Japan had all the advantages better prepared, easier draw/games, 11men vs 10men, and they still nearly lost if it wasnt for the crossbar shot from Australia, showed in the coaches after the match Australias looking very proud, Japans looking disappointed.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I also agree with smithinjapan.

Stop blaming the ref because soccer has its reputation where people have no respect for the officials.

The most important man on the field is the referee, bot poser Honda. He thinks he is the biggest star and had no sense of urgency to take the free kick.

Both Japan ans Australia are mediocre teams at best. The draw was fair.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

If Honda had approached the ball with the same intensity as he was goading Cahill (or, complaining after) all night, Japan would be be sitting on top with 9 points, and the Aussies would be scrambling for their 2014 lives.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The PK call was a joke, and I have never seen a game end right before a free-kick--no question there's much to be desired with the refereeing. Honda is the anchor of the Japan team and Kagawa has got to step up big time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The referee was bad, Australia did well with one man down and Japan did well considering that it was an away game. Japan's soccer has improved tremendously but not to the point where they can beat Australia easily. I still say there pretty much equal (now). Couple of years ago, Australia was much stronger so it shows a marked improvement that the world is now noticing except you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Stop blaming the ref because soccer has its reputation where people have no respect for the officials.

Look, the ref made 3 really poor decisions that were critical to the match - the 2 red cards and the penalty, and then to NOT let Japan take that final free kick was simply bizarre. I hate ref bashing at the best of times, but honestly, these were decisions that you'd cringe to see in the local park on a Saturday afternoon let alone a WC qualifier. That being said, it was a really cracking match. Highly entertaining with both sides throwing everything at it. In the end a good result for both, although on the balance of it, a much better result for Japan. The Japanese team are far from mediocre by the way - they will really test good sides in Brazil in 2014, don't worry about that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The ref was complete crap... also the pitch was in really bad shape no wonder so many people were falling onto each other.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To the people talking about jetlag, Australia is 1 hour time difference there is no jetlag, you only get jetlag when there is a major timezone difference like flying to America.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I had to laugh when I saw the 3 minute added time on the screen and the clock was already well past 48 min when Honda was awarded the free kick. The refree simply mis-counted the time, but what a huge mistake. If this was a south american match, I think he would be running for his life!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ROW 6 Aussie supporters end...Brilliant footbal game:) Will have to wait till June next year when Socceroos and Japan next meet! Should be a cracker!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The ref didn't mis match the end time...He decided Japan were taking to long to take the kick and rightfully called full time:)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@wtfjapan

"Japan had all the advantages better prepared, easier draw/games, "

Yeah sure, it was in Australia, and Australia just played against a tough team (Oman, who Japan beat 3-0). And somehow only Japan was prepared, while Australia wasn't ???? And the penalty kick was given for completely no apparent reason.

"Australias looking very proud,"

Yeah, you guys should be proud, you tied at home !!!!!! Aussie players didn't complain except toward the ref, you shouldn't either.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The MVP of the game goes to ... the ref. Being sarcastic of course. The ref should never get the most attention in a game, but he did in this case. Both teams were very physical, both teams had good chances to score. It was an exciting game. Honda was the best player on the Japan side. He had great ball control, dribbled well, assisted the only goal for Japan, and played tough. He didn't roll around on the pitch when Cahill spiked him in the knee early on and gave Cahill a nice shoulder check later on (Cahill dove and Honda get a yellow card). Both teams could have won but Japan should be pleased with a draw away from home.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think I might be the only person who thought the Ref did an above average job, particularly in the first half he was very good and importantly let the game go. In the second half he was a lot stricter, which was disappointing, but as an Australian I thought most of the decisions were fair. The only dubious decision was the second Milligan yellow card, but I have seen yellows given for a lot less.

I thought Uchida's yellow which resulted in a penalty was a good decision. I mean he spun Brosque around 180 degrees in the penalty box. I wish more penalties were called for holding in the box.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wonder if anyone has already referred to the poor ground condition (surface unevenness, poor grass coverage), which came as the first major surprise from watching the game. It clearly prevented japan from playing their routine quick passing game style. Would be understandable in other parts of asia where ground conditions are typically poor but should this also apply for australia where the country particularly invests heavily on sports? To me this appeared to be the biggest disadvantage for japan in countering the aerial-height dependent playing style of the opponent. Thoughts?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kreza: " Pretty much everybody agreed that the ref was atrocious, but that it went both ways and the game was at the very least, extremely entertaining."

That's what I heard, and as I said earlier (but the post was removed) I truly regret missing this game due to work. Had I seen it, trust me, I'd be cursing the ref and nothing but -- but that would have been part of the excitement. I will admit I was in a foul mood last night and that is reflected in my comments, but my main point was that there are a number of people, despite you saying I am the only one making a hissy fit, who are making excuses for Japan not winning. The popular one seems to be 'it was an away game', followed closely by 'poor ground condition' as though it only affected one team and not the other.

alliswellinjapan: "To me this appeared to be the biggest disadvantage for japan in countering the aerial-height dependent playing style of the opponent. Thoughts?"

Both teams played on the same ground, right, so why would Japan be at a disadvantage for that reason alone?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I agree with Osieck that this Japanese team is probably the best ever, much more confident and creative than in the past. Great game and I think the Aussies played well to stifle the Japanese team after an inexplicable red card pretty much scuttled their chances for a win. That being said, the referee made so many howlers that they almost evened themselves out by the end. @hidesuzuki Yes, Japan arrived in Australia earlier and did have an easier draw. Australia was coming straight off a long flight and a hard game in 40 degree heat. Just facts, not excuses. Penalty kick given for no reason? How about the sending off of Milligan? @axcelsan If smith pays his taxes, he's not a guest. If he has a job, he's contributing to Japanese society. You dedicated an entire post to personally attacking him because you don't agree with his opinions, not arguing those opinions. That sounds a little 'angry and rude' to me. Just sayin'.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Both Austria, oops, Australia and Japan are nice teams, sure they both made silly mistakes but what the heck, they had that silly Saudi referee going hog wild handing out yellow cards then red cards like if it was the end of the world.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

alliswellinjapan: I would have to agree the ground was very poor and Zaccheroni actually referred to the "terrible" pitch conditions in his match closing comments as factor which played against Japan. At the end of the day both teams had to play on the same sub standard ground and conditions. Both teams found the boggy turf difficult I am sure.

Firstly I have to say congratulations to Japan and Australia for a really entertaining match. There was never a dull moment, and both teams were playing to win and had their chances. Only a few years ago Japanese forward's played this stupid irresponsible game of passing the ball in the goal box rather than shooting. It was such a refreshing change to see creative forwards like Kagawa and Honda actually looking dangerous and being aggressive in front of goal. If this is the style of game which Zaccheroni has brought to Japanese football then he is to be highly commended.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smithinjapan: an aerial-height dependent playing style (more focused on aerial long balls for headers or to Cahill for the second ball) is obviously less dependent on the ground condition while a more decent ground condition is critical to enable a smooth ground pass-for-speed playing style of Japan (which was never really seen yesterday in my view).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oz_monster: thanks for the information. considered this factor to certainly play against japan in the middle east away matches going forward, but did not expect this to already come into picture in an australian match, where it creates significantly larger impact given the physical disadvantage not to mention a versus a tougher opponent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Honda is a talented footballer, but if I were playing against him and he dived and tried to referee the game as much as he does, I think I'd be getting a red card and long ban for my actions....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Honda is a talented footballer, but if I were playing against him and he dived and tried to referee the game as much as he does, I think I'd be getting a red card and long ban for my actions....

Agreed. The bloke is very talented, potentially the best Japanese player, but this element of his game is what prevents hims from being approached by a big club. (yes, CSKA is big in Russia but not in Europe) Sir Alex, Jose Morinho etal do not usually tolerate prima-donnas who place themselves above the team. Kagawa on the other hand is a fabulous team-man and will be a smashing success in the worlds biggest club.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Kiskipuich Vilaboa, the swear filter on JT sometimes gets caught on a word for no seeming sense at all. This means that you edit and edit and try and try and try again but cannot post your meassage. This has happened to me too and sometimes to my best posts!

Interestingly many of the commentators above say how well the Socceroos played despite the red card, making it 11-10, a man down. Did no-one notice that Japan also received a red card and were down to 10 men as well?

I thought 50% of the ref's decisions were good, 30% debatable, and 20% inexplicable. It was as if he had been paid to make sure the game ended up in a draw.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have had typhoon quality rain every day for about a week here on the East coast of Australia. There would have been no better pitch on the day because of the freakish rain we are having.Both teams had to striggle with it and probably Australia suffered most, losing Bresciano and McKay to niggles that probably resulted from the poor pitch. You have to play with what you have. Those are the breaks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At this rate, Australia won't make it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh, and the refereeing in this game is some of the worst I've ever seen. And that's a lot of football matches watched.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The hard pitch was definitely an advantage to Aus. Bouncy balls favor the taller team. Not to detract from Aus's performance. They played gutsy football.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nandanantoka

Did no-one notice that Japan also received a red card and were down to 10 men as well?

Yeah, I noticed it. I happened in the 89th minute, so they were a man down for 4 minutes in total. The two teams are at quite different stages now - Australia is an aging side in transition, looking for the next generation of guys to come through without there being too many obvious choices. It's sad to say, but right now there isn't much real depth in the national team. When guys like Neill (34), Ogenovski (33), Bresciano (32), Kewell (33), Cahill (32), North (30), Schwarzer (39) are all still starters (6 of these guys did last night) it doesn't bode well for 2014 when they will all be two years older and slower. The young guys who should be playing in that tournament for Australia should be playing in these games right now, and they aren't there. Japan on the other hand, are really coming together beautifully for Brazil. If they keep developing they might get quite deep into the tournament - Japanese football has great depth right now. But both teams clearly lack something that was glaringly obvious last night - a quality tear away striker. Japan hasn't had one for 10 years. If they can find one, they will be quality.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

that ref.... who was paying him?? and to what end?? he can't actually be that inept... exciting game though. I was in the stadium and I can say the Japanese cheer squad was far louder and more unified than the Australians. It was quite impressive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"the Japanese cheer squad was far louder"

This cannot be denied.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People it is winter in the southern hemisphere, so naturally the pitch may be somewhat pitchy! Well I mean not quite at its best. This doesn't give any advantage to either team.... And then what with Matsuki's relentless commentary last night going on bitchin' bout the pitch and the Everest like height of the Aussies...I just grew tired and hoped for a draw... Honda is awesome though!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks as if this referee has a history of pulling out the cards a if they were candy. In the SA World cup when he refereed the Chile vs Swiss match he pulled out 9 yellow and 1 red in total, in the France vs Mexico match he pulled out 6 yellow in total and at the last Asian Cup he again pulled out 6 yellow cards at the Japan vs South Korea match.

Although I must admit I do not recall any of the fore mentioned matches in detail I believe ten penalty cards in a single game is a bit extreme even if there was a grudge involved.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

People it is winter in the southern hemisphere, so naturally the pitch may be somewhat pitchy! Well I mean not quite at its best. This doesn't give any advantage to either team.... And then what with Matsuki's relentless commentary last night going on bitchin' bout the pitch and the Everest like height of the Aussies...I just grew tired and hoped for a draw... Honda is awesome though!!!!!

Auhh, there was a home advantage and season really doesn't matter since it had been reported that Australia selected the stadium even though they knew there was going to be a rugby game ten day prior to this game. Australia had the advantage since Japan play style consists of numerous passes amongst each other to develop a hole within the defense line so a "thoroughly sloughed" works against Japan more than Australia which constantly lobs the ball into the opponent's defense line with an advantage in height.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japanese team not a good team

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I continue to stress decent ground conditions should also be another important prerequisite to the game as with the skill of the referees, especially if everyone is keen to improve the overall level of Asian football. I was somewhat disappointed to see the quick ground passing appeal of the game impacted by poor ground conditions. I am most interested in seeing a highly skillful football game played at its best, more so than confirming which side actually wins.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samurai Blue - please a little more on that big height advantage?

Do you mean those giants Cahill & Brosque who had the Blues squirming?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

browny, the average height of the Australian team was 183cm while for Japan it was 178cm. That may not be a huge gap but it certainly makes a difference.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

yasukuni: Sorry, let me qualify that a little more. I DID say 'Japan sucked', and in cutting off the comment immediately after I didn't go on to explain that what I MEANT was that the media had been making them out to be dominant and the Aussies the underdogs. By the way things were explained it sounded as if Japan should have won -- but instead, again, all we got were excuses AFTERWARDS, save by many on this site who rightly said it was a good game and a draw was welcomed (for BOTH teams).

I mean, come on... some are even suggesting Japan was 'jet-lagged' when the time difference is one or two hours tops.

So, for the record, Japan did NOT suck; I just don't think they played to some people's expectations whereas the Aussies, according to similar expectations, played better to manage a draw. They even came damn close to winning with the cross bar kick!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cornbread: "The PK call was a joke, and I have never seen a game end right before a free-kick--no question there's much to be desired with the refereeing. Honda is the anchor of the Japan team and Kagawa has got to step up big time."

Agreed the refereeing was bad... but any other examples aside from the one you mention that you'd care to mention?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites