Results, highlights and reports from the Samurai Blue's qualifying run for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Created by StevePro on Feb 23, 2010
Last updated: 03/12/10 at 04:41 AM
Tags: Japan Samurai Blue Yuji Nakazawa Tamada
Japan finishes off against Denmark.
A huge game for Japan against Group E heavyweight Holland.
Japan takes on African powerhouse and attempts to stop Eto'o in their first group E game.
Australia came from behind to beat Japan 2-1 with a second-half double from Tim Cahill on Wednesday to finish top of Asian World Cup qualifying Group One.
Both countries had already reached the 2010 finals in South Africa with their last qualifier, played out by second-string teams, deciding who would take the plaudits in the group.
Japan ended Qatar's faint hopes of a place at the 2010 World Cup with a 1-1 home draw in an Asian 2010 qualifier on Wednesday.
The Japanese had already booked a spot in the South Africa tournament by beating Uzbekistan 1-0 in Tashkent last weekend.
They went ahead after just three minutes in Yokohama courtesy of an own goal from Ahmed Ali Albinali but Qatar equalised through an Ali Yahya penalty in the 53rd minute.
Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa when they beat Uzbekistan 1-0 in a Group One qualifier on Saturday.
Shinji Okazaki struck the only goal early in the game to secure Japan's place at their fourth finals. They were also the first team through to the 2006 tournament in Germany.
A deflected goal from Shunsuke Nakamura gave Japan a 1-0 win over Bahrain on Saturday, moving them to the brink of a place at the 2010 World Cup.
Victory lifted Japan above Australia at the top of their group in the final round of Asian qualifiers, at least until the Socceroos face Uzbekistan in Sydney on Wednesday.
Japan scored three unanswered goals to see off Qatar's challenge and claim their second win in the final round of the Asian World Cup qualifiers at the Al Sadd stadium today.
Japan opened the scoring after 19 minutes through Tatsuya Tanaka before Keiji Tamada scored the second goal for his side two minutes after the break. Marcus Tulio Tanaka sealed the game with a third goal after 68 minutes.
Australia withstood late pressure from Japan to hold on for a 0-0 draw which kept them top of their World Cup qualifying group on Wednesday.
"It's a great result," Australia midfielder Tim Cahill told Reuters. "They've had five weeks preparing, we've had two days. We will take that result - and I'm sure they will too."
Australia lead Group One in the final round of Asian 2010 World Cup qualifying with 10 points from four games, two ahead of second-placed Japan.
Japan were held to a 1-1 draw by Uzbekistan in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, piling more pressure on coach Takeshi Okada.
Uzbekistan took the lead against the run of play, striker Maksim Shatskikh sliding in to score from close range after 27 minutes to stun a crowd of 55,000 in Saitama.
Japan equalised through striker Keiji Tamada, who bundled home Yoshito Okubo's pull-back five minutes before halftime.
Shunsuke Nakamura (18)
Yasuhito Endo (pen 44)
Kengo Nakamura (85)
A freak late goal from defender Atsuto Uchida gave Japan a 1-0 home win over Bahrain in a World Cup qualifier played in monsoon conditions on Sunday.
Both sides had already secured their places in the final round of Asian 2010 World Cup qualifiers, but Japan's victory in rain-soaked Saitama meant they finished top of Group Two.
Japan virtually assured themselves of a place in the final round of World Cup qualifiers after a 3-0 win over strugglers Thailand on Saturday.
Lifted by a jubilant, mostly Japanese crowd at Bangkok's Rajamangala stadium, Japan overpowered an error-prone Thai team with goals from Tulio, Yuji Nakazawa and Kengo Nakamura, and will advance to the final 10 if Oman fail to beat Group 2 leaders Bahrain in Manama later on Saturday.
Yashuhito Endo's second-half penalty earned Japan a draw in Oman in a game they dominated for long periods.
The Gamba Osaka midfielder's effort cancelled out Ahmed Mubarak's 11th-minute strike for the hosts.
Oman had a golden opportunity to snatch all three points when Hashim Salem Mohammed was brought down in the box by Marcus Tulio Tanaka, but Fawzi Bashir hit his spot-kick tamely and Seigo Narazaki guessed correctly, diving to his left to make the save.
Japan beat Oman 3-0 to get their World Cup qualifying campaign firmly back on track on Monday.
Captain Yuji Nakazawa, Yoshito Okubo and Shunsuke Nakamura were on target in rainy Yokohama, relieving the pressure on Japan coach Takeshi Okada following a 1-0 defeat by Bahrain in March.
Japan have six points from three matches but still trail Bahrain by three points in Group Two after the Gulf side beat winless Thailand 3-2 in Bangkok later on Monday.
Ala'a Hubail (77)
Japan overcame Thailand 4-1 in freezing conditions to win their opening 2010 World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
Thailand's players, normally accustomed to tropical heat, were given little chance with snow falling in Saitama but they made life difficult for Japan in the first half.
Midfielder Yasuhito Endo gave Japan the lead in the 21st minute with a superb curling free kick from 30 metres.