Live: Socceroos fall behind to early Japan goal


The Socceroos will take a giant step towards qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup — if they can get past Japan in Saitama this evening.

A win will give Graham Arnold’s team a 12th-straight qualification win and leave the Blue Samurai, who have won just once in three matches, in serious trouble.

However, the Socceroos have not beaten Japan since 2009, a run of seven matches.

Follow all the action in our live blog.

Live updates

By Simon Smale

45′ – Chance Japan!

Oh that’s nice, Japan surging into the penalty area with intent, crisply passing their way into a dangerous position that Junya Ito can’t quite keep under his control.

A bit fortunate there from the Socceroos.

By Simon Smale

44′ – Save Mat Ryan!

Takumi Minamino turns and shoots from the edge of the penalty area that forces a really good save by Mat Ryan!

That ball dipped just in front of him and he did really well to push it behind for a corner.

By Simon Smale

Key Event

41′ – Socceroos hit the post!

Oh lovely stuff from the Socceroos, Adam Taggart linking up brilliantly with Tom Rogic after the former was played in over the top by Martin Boyle, but Shūichi Gonda saves brilliantly from point-blank range, pushing Taggart’s pile-driver of a shot into the post, and the rebound falls unkindly for the Aussies!

That was the best moment by far from the Aussies, a some nice football.

By Simon Smale

39′ – (Half) Chance Japan!

Oh wow, Osako just twisted and teased two Socceroos defenders into knots to create space for himself, but there was no support there and the move breaks down.

It was glorious skill.

By Simon Smale

38′ – Chance Japan!

Wow the Japanese are so quick on the counter today. No sooner had that ball been won in their own half, than they go up the other end and create real danger from a whipped-in cross that just flies over the head of Osako.

Japan really threatening off every turnover, and the Australians are giving away too many turnovers at the moment.

By Simon Smale

37′ – Chance Socceroos

Adam Taggart almost gets played in at the other end but a really nice challenge from Takehiro Tomiyasu snuffs out the danger.

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

35′ – Chance Japan!

Oh my! A poor touch from Hrstic and Japan pounce, flooding forward on the turnover but Yuya Osako inexplicably turned the ball wide with only Mat Ryan to beat!

What a let off…

By Simon Smale

33′ – Japan pressure

Lots of pressure coming from Japan now, the hosts working the channels around the Socceroos penalty area, but they can’t find a way through as of yet as the Socceroos clear the ball away.

The continuous clapping and drumming is creating a really intense atmosphere.

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

31′ – Chance Japan

Some patient buildup play from the Socceroos was stymied by a lovely tackle by Hiroki Sakai, leading to the Blue Samurai haring up the other end.

Junya Ito threatens with a cross that goes behind for a corner, but nothing comes of it.

By Simon Smale

The evergreen Yuto Nagatomo got forward early. (Getty Images)

By Simon Smale

25′ – Chance Japan

Yuto Nagatomo flew forward down the left, before whipping a dangerous cross in that Mat Ryan had to fling himself towards to stop Osako from prodding home.

Brave keeping from the Aussie skipper.

By Simon Smale

23′ – Chance Japan

Sloppy from the Socceroos, Trent Sainsbury gives the ball away very easily in midfield, and Junya Ito runs free before curling a shot towards the far top corner of the goal, wide.

A bit too casual from the Socceroos in coming forward.

By Simon Smale

19′ – Chance Socceroos

Adam Taggart is targeted in the centre of the penalty area by a wicked cross from Fran Karačić, who got forward well down the right, and Japan don’t quite handle it to be honest, but the ball flies away to safety.

By Simon Smale

Don’t @ me, but I do not mind this Japan kit at all. (Getty Images)

By Simon Smale

14′ – Chance Socceroos!

Ajdin Hrstic almost catches Shūichi Gonda out of position by rifling a shot towards goal, which the Japanese stopper puts behind the near post.

Another corner.

This time Harry Souttar is the intended target, he gets a free jump on that ball, but Japan defend well and the ball goes behind for a goal kick. 

By Simon Smale

13′ – Chance Socceroos

Tommy Rogic has a hit from the edge of the penalty area after Adam Taggart cushions the ball down for him, but the ball flies just over the bar, although there was a deflection so it’s a corner.

Trent Sainsbury heads the corner goalward and Shūichi Gonda tips the ball over the bar!

By Simon Smale

Key Event


Ao Tanaka wheels away in celebration (Getty Images)

Oh yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!

Aziz Behich gets fooled by a horribly deflected cross from Takumi Minamino and Ao Tanaka finds himself in all sorts of space, before rifling home past Mat Ryan to get the opener!

It’s the first international goal for the Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder.

Defending from the Socceroos? Well, the deflection didn’t help, but yeah, yuck.

By Simon Smale

How can one of these teams get through and other stronger teams in the world not


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