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Australia vs Japan

FIFA World Cup - 2022 Qualifiers - AFC - Qualifying - Round 3 - Group B - Match 9
Australia vs Japan
at Stadium Australia, Sydney on 2023-03-24T09:10:00
Score: 0-2 (0-0)
Official Info: Socceroos
Previous Match: Oman vs Australia
Next Match: Saudi Arabia vs Australia

It was a tense match and Australia did have some chances, however we can hardly be surprised by the final result.

We simply don't have the playing depth we need. We were missing our key midfield players and struggled against a very good Japanese side. Sure we can wonder what might have been if Duke had buried our best chance of the first half. But that's papering over the cracks. We haven't beaten Japan in something like 10 years and our streak of not losing a live world cup qualifier in a very long time is over.

Some will question Arnold's tactics - and I did think he made substitutions too late - but ultimately what was he to do with the playing squad he had?

We head off overseas for a dead rubber against Saudi Arabia, leading me to wonder what the penalty would have been for forfeiting. We look ahead to June and (hopefully) two final qualifiers. If we don't get our best players back, it looks very bleak.

The FFA really needs to review player development. Again.