Japan becomes first team to qualify for 2014 World Cup

By Jim Armstrong

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9 ( +11 / -2 )

Heck of a shot from the Aussie player. Japan had quite a few chances itself and couldn't convert.

Congrats to the Japanese team for qualifying so quickly. Here's to hoping that their luck continues!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

It was a good game. The Japanese dominated, but the Aussies also have had some good chances. Congrats to both teams for an entertaining game

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Seen ref's give penalty's for less, seen them not give them for more - it's the game.

Glad Japan won but for just one reason - for football to really take hold here it needs a few more years attention at high level. Had they lost, it could have gone back to obscurity. Sorry for Oz to lose a victory - never good when the timing and circumstances are like that!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It was a penalty no doubt. That Aussie goal was really marvelous though.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good on Japan -- they would have qualified either way, but I think a solid win will give them the confidence to propel themselves further and do better than if they lost but could go ahead anyway. Sad for Australia, but it looks like they put up a good fight. It's just a shame they lose out despite it being a tie game.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

smithinjapan - I think a solid win will give them the confidence

Eh? It was a draw, desho? And, a lucky draw for Japan at that with a penalty in the dying seconds.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

smithinjapan, australia dont "lose out" they have to play two more games, and cans still qualify. Likewise, No Miso, if japan had lost they would have needed points from future games, football wouldnt have "gone into obscurity".

fluke of a penalty from honda, right down the middle, after a soft penalty. Still, congrats to japan and good luck in Brazil!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well done to Japan. Interesting game - Japan as usual showed great approach play but finishing is still a problem. A top-drawer centre-forward could see Japan move up to the next level. Australia don't have the kind of quality they had in the past with a fit Kewell and Viduka but they are as gutsy as they come and I hope they get to Brazil.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Great game and great Honda!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

first team to qualify, first team to be eliminated? hopefully not, I'd like to see Kagawa run that midfield

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Boring game between between two boring, extremely slow teams.

-17 ( +7 / -24 )

to disillusioned did you watch the game? i would have said lucky aussies,if you call that a shot on target you need glasses.also ball to hand in front of the ref to me is a dead cert penalty. .japan were the better team more imaginative team and deserved the win rather than a draw.well done to them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@davetrousers and you think you could do any better?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Heck of a shot from the Aussie player.

It was a miss-hit cross. Are you serious?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Please, please, please, get rid of Endo! He is nothing but a liability! Why do they keep marching him out there? I must have seen him give up the ball more than 6 times, and other than one shot, that had no chance, his passes were only back to the defense.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well done to the Samurai for qualification - and AWESOME backs-to-the-wall result to the men in green and gold! Pretty much all the press back home had written them off. Now, our destiny is in our own hands with the two remaining games being at home. Hopefully the Aussie fanatics in Saitama stadium can join their samurai-supporter mates in booking those tickets to Brazil very soon. And Tommy Oar - hats off to ya, kid!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My bad for saying Australia loses out. I was not aware they still had a chance. So don't be so quick to thumb down -- I have nothing but praise for both of the teams in this game, and I sincerely hope the Aussies make it in again. Would stink if they didn't.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Gutsy effort from the Socceroos. I'd have taken a draw before the game but it's disappointing to have not won it because of a soft, late spot kick. Fair result in the end though and Japan deservedly qualify first. They never got the better of us though! In fact, by my count in recent years we've won 2, drawn 3 and lost none in World Cup qualifiers and games against Japan. The next few years they'll dominate Asia but we'll rebuild and be back. Our immediate goal though is the next two weeks when we try and squeeze the last few drops out of this ageing team and qualify ourselves. C'mon Aussie!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Congratulations, Japan! Everyone believed Japan would qualify for a year now, but they sure know how to do it in dramatic fashion. Leave it all in the last 10 min, they had us on our knees only to equalize with a rocket penalty from Honda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great entertainment for the full 90 minutes. With any luck (and most probably), both these teams will be there at the party next year in Brazil.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not impressed with Japan. 1-1 at home. But Honda´s penalty was gutsy. Not to either side but right in the middle. He kept his cool. I´m not quite sure what to make of Japan yet. They have had some good results and less good results. This result while it did the job is not too convincing. Japan has in the past played well against teams who play direct and physical such as England and Denmark and less well against teams who play technical such as Argentina and Brazil.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yaaaaataaaa ! ! ! ! ! Samurai Blue ! A draw is better than a loss, and you qualified ! See you in Rio !

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Oh my heart skipped a beat when Australia scored the first goal (a great shot by the way) very late in second half. Japan went into panic mode, and I thought the time was going to run out.. Great comeback to get the tie and the ticket to Rio.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty clear-cut penalty. Referees would return 20% of their match fee if they always had decisions that easy to make. The PK kick itself I believe is still flying towards downtown Yokohama - never seen a ball hit that hard! It's a win-win for Japan and the hosts Brazil. Ex-Japan residents in Brazil will be dusting off their phrase books. Anyway, enough of this 'Wendy-ball' - 'real' men are playing in Perth this afternoon!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Can soccer fans help me out with a question. Is it just soccer or just Japan - why don't they have the captain of the visiting side address the crowd too.

I'm used to at least the captain being interviewed in the international games I know or representative games - even if they are booed, but at least there's that tradition.

What's up with just interviewing the whole team for the stadium while the other team are nowhere to be seen. Or did the Aussies run away?

(not a soccer expert)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No question of the penalty at all, it was clear.

Japan played really well and the Honda Kagawa show there for a while in the 2nd half bodes very well for Japan.

As a Socceroos fan, I was really pleased with the team Osciek fielded and the way they played. They came so very close to pinching that one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Congrats to Japan. Pretty entertaining game, Japan were the better team. Passing and moving from the start, with Honda and Kagawa leading. Intricate passing between them. They had more chances but maybe Australia had one of the best chances. Japan have the idea's, they just need the conviction. A decent striker. This Mike guy is a poor substitute to put on to be honest but that's what they've got.

It was a handball, the referee was right in front of it for one and two, the player didn't see the ball go past the first defender, it caught him by surprise and he handled it.

Honda duly slotted that away with a great pressure penalty.

Japan have a good base with some solid passing but they need two strikers to move them up in contention for a last 16 in Brazil.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@davestrousers: What game were you watching? Whilst not saying that the quality of football was great, it certainly wasn't boring and defintely NOT slow. Clean your glasses buddy.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm happy!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hey ikemen, addressing the supporters isn't a football thing, so if Japan do it after every game it must be a Japan thing. The Australian team applauded the travelling supporters, which is pretty expected (a sign the away team acknowledges the effort made by the supporters to travel a long way).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That was obviously a cross meant for the Aussie player running towards the middle of the goal. A goal is a goal, and Japan was fortunate as well with their penalty, but Tommy Oar was just directing it to the front of the goal and hoping for the best. Not a bad tactic, but he wasn't aiming for the top corner there.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As others have stated. Japan passes the ball well, they are quick, technical they can run. Honda, Kagawa got the touch, composure and brains, But no one seems to be able to score. They will have to do something about their infamous ineffectiveness if they think about making an impact in Brazil. It doesn't matter how much possession you have unless you create goals from chances. Japan needs a Zlatan Ibrahimovic type. A tough mean fearless dude up front. Honda got a little bit of that hungry attitude. But others don't have enough of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did anybody see Oman vs. Iraq game ? Well that was one exciting match - both teams ran out their soul on the ground. Movement, passes, struggle, saves, shoots and glimpses of exuberant technique!!!

Let me repeat someone else's words that are spot on for the Japan game: Boring game between two boring, extremely slow teams.

Otherwise I also had fun watching on a big screen with friends on few drinks. Qualifying didn't spoil the mood as well ;-) Hope Japan and Zaccherony especially get their act together - long way to go !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Well Japan was pretty much qualified even with a loss, unless you expect Jordan to win by a total of 15 goals in the last 2 games. But this is the AFC, so anything can happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Some brilliant play by the Aussies, which if they capitalize on could mean trouble for others next year. Japan too had many good moments and opportunities, but the ball seemed to fly everywhere except into the net. Both teams have some serious homework to do, but the game was an interesting insight into what they are both capable of.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan had better increase its level of play if it wants to do well at the World Cup in Brazil. It looked bad on its corner kicks and set plays Tuesday night ... it must start scoring from the field again ... not only on PKs. Japan's strikers had better practice over and over again in learning where the goal posts are. The object of the game is to get the ball between those posts. After all, that's where the goals are ...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

First team to qualify..... and first team to....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The inflatable kangaroos will be back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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