Japan, Australia draw in World Cup qualifier
Friday, February 13, 2009
Australia and Japan played out a scoreless draw in front of sixty five and a half thousand spectators at Yokohama International Stadium in Japan. Both countries are expected to go through to the World Cup in South Africa.
The Australians sustained heavy pressure throughout the match, they managed to defend effectively. The pressure however cause three players to be booked by the referee. Namely Scott Chipperfield (after 21 minutes), Luke Wilkshire (25 minutes) and Carl Valeri (1 minute into 2nd half added time).
Japan managed to open up Australia's left hand side and create a number of chances up front. Unfortunately for the Japanese, the chances resulted in corners and near misses at best.
"It's a great result," said Tim Cahill, Australia's makeshift striker. "They've had five weeks preparing, we've had two days. We will take that result - and I'm sure they will too."
The result sees them two wins clear of Bahrain, who would play-off for fifth overall in Asia if qualification happened after four games per team.
"You've got to look at the table," Cahill said. "We're six points clear of the team in third (Bahrain). We're sitting pretty and so are Japan."
"It's frustrating not to take three points at home," said Japan coach Takeshi Okada, who had admitted his job was in trouble. "We did everything but put the ball in the net. But it's about qualifying for the World Cup. We have four games left and have to keep pushing."
- "Cahill praises resilient Socceroos" — , February 12, 2009