Better late than never! Thanks to the frantic final of the World Cup qualifiers against Australia, the Japanese national team won a ticket to Qatar – for the seventh time. Coach Hajim Moryas’ side beat Australia 2-0 (0-0) in Sydney. Gaur Mitoma was responsible for both goals.
His double pack finally made its way to the rising sun land World Championship. Five minutes after his conversion, the 24-year-old won 1-0 (89 ‘) with his second goal in extra time (90 + 4). There were some who belonged to the party Bundesliga-Benefits including Vattaru Endo (VfB Stuttgart), Takuma Asano (VfL Bochum) and Genki Haraguchi (Union Berlin).
After nine games out of ten in AFC Group 2, Japan are now top of the table with 21 points – and cannot beat third-placed Australia (15). Saudi Arabia (19) also did not reach the “Down Under” team. The country, which shares a direct border with Qatar, the host of the World Cup, has a short trip in November, benefiting from the Japanese victory. Even if they look their own way against China today (4pm / CET), the Saudis can definitely plan on winning the World Cup.
Weak Australians, on the other hand, need a win to intervene in the direct ticket race. Driven by Frankfurt’s Ajdin Hrustich, they were unable to take advantage of some of the opportunities available to them. To qualify for a fourth World Cup in a row, Soccer must now win two knockout matches in June. They are in third place in Group A, currently in the United Arab Emirates, where they will face South American opponents first.
Prior to Japan and Saudi Arabia, Iran and South Korea qualified for the World Cup in other Asian qualifiers. Qatar, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Croatia, Serbia, Spain, England, the Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina have already been confirmed for the World Cup. There are 32 teams in total.
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