Asian Group B at a crossroads. Arnold’s team dominates with full points (9 points) and is looking for success to break Moriasu’s team, stop at 3 and are looking for vital points for direct qualification.
Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup Qatar kick off, and not only in Europe. The only group in South America has now crossed the half, and Brazil and Argentina are heading towards the World Cup finals but still looking for the pass. Also in the rest of the world, the Winter World Cup is reached.
So, a look at what’s happening in Asia: After the first group stage with 40 national teams, there are only 12 teams left, divided into two groups of six. The list is now clear: the top two from each group qualify directly for Qatar 2022, while two thirds will compete in a single race to grab the last pass. In group B, a very important challenge is set on day four: Australia (with full points, 9 points, along with Saudi Arabia) visits Japan, third in 3.
The Japanese have the opportunity to fall short in Australia, opening up interesting scenarios with the goal of qualifying directly for the World Cup. But Graham Arnold’s men have a great chance of getting out of the game, in fact, a direct contender for the top two positions. Australia have so far scored seven goals and conceded only one: 3-0 against China, 1-0 in Vietnam and 3-1 against Oman. Japan lost 1-0 to Oman and Saudi Arabia, while winning by the same score away to China.
Australia and Japan have met 21 times in their history, including friendlies. The balance sheet is in favor of the Japanese, who have won on 10 occasions to five defeats, with six draws to complete the picture. On the occasion of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Russia, there was a (1-1) draw and a 2-0 victory for Japan with goals from Takuma Asano and Yusuke Edeguchi. Australia’s last win was on 17 June 2009 in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers: 2-1 thanks to a Tim Cahill brace. In the following match, Japan won the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Final in overtime.
October 11, 2021 (changed October 11, 2021 | 12:08 PM)
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