Australia v Japan (World Cup Qualifying)
Date: Wednesday 17th June
Kickoff: 10:00 GMT
Australia will clash against Japan in a World Cup qualifier that is more about pride and professional respect than points as both teams have already qualified for South Africa 2010. You can watch Australia v Japan live here.
Meanwhile Japan also went through to the World Cup 2010 in great style after they beat Uzbekistan 1-0 in Tashkent last fortnight. Last week against Qatar, Japan drew 1-1 thanks to an own goal from Ahmed Ali Albinali. Qatar equalized through Ali Yahya, who scored from the spot in the 53rd minute.
Japan will be sending a weakened team for the clash here with Shunsuke Nakamura, Yasuhito Endo, Makoto Hasebe and Yoshito Okubo missing out due to injury. Japan coach Takeshi Okada will hope his makeshift squad will still give a good account of themselves in Australia.
The Socceroos qualified for next year’s event with two games in hand after they drew 0-0 against Qatar in Doha a fortnight ago. Since then in what was a celebration game, they beat Bahrain 2-0 thanks to goals from Mile Sterjovski and David Carney.
They thus maintained an unbeaten record in the final round of Asian round of World Cup qualifiers and will hope to continue that run against Japan as well. Australia coach Pim Verbeek was delighted with his side’s form and will give new boys a chance against Japan in order to test their mettle at the highest stage.
The Socceroos have 17 points from 7 games played so far.
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