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いよいよ日豪対決!Bragging Rights at Stake as Samurai Blue Tackle Socceroos in World Cup Qualifier

OzvsJPFierce but friendly rivals Japan and Australia meet in an Asian Football Confederation Round Four World Cup qualifying match at Saitama Stadium 2002 near Tokyo on June 4.
Japan, currently top of Group B, need only to take a point from this match to qualify for Brazil 2014.
Australia, in third place a point behind Jordan but with a game in hand, will be looking to take home at least one point, but will have its hands full against a team that has realistic hopes of reaching the latter rounds in South America next year.
Also at stake in this match will be bragging rights between two of the AFC’s powerhouse teams, which have met 20 times overall, for seven wins apiece and six draws. Since Australia’s entry into the AFC in 2007, the record remains deadlocked with two wins each with two draws in the six times they’ve clashed.

Japan will go into the match a firm favorite with Saitama, Asia’s largest exclusively football stadium, packed to the rafters with Japan’s most fervent supporters, the finals place at stake, more recent hit-outs — albeit with uninspiring results including a 2-0 loss to Bulgaria last weekend and a shock defeat to Jordan — the heat working against the Southern Hemisphere Socceroos and top quality talent including Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa and Atsuto Uchida.
Australia has enormous talent, too, but it looks overstretched with veteran 30-somethings Lucas Neill, Tim Cahill and Josh Kennedy among those who took on Japan in the legendary 2006 World Cup Germany match at Kaiserslauten, where the Socceroos came from 1-0 down at the 84th minute to win 3-1. Great then, but now an athlete’s lifetime of seven years ago, reflecting a lack of fresh talent injection into the Australian line-up.

Match Information

Japan versus Australia
Saitama Stadium 2002
Kick-off 7:30 p.m. JST (8:30 p.m. AEST)

日本代表 Japan Samurai Blue Official Website (Japan Football Association)

Australia Socceroos Official Website (Football Federation Australia)