Monday, 12th June 2006
Australia vs Japan
Australia have played Japan fourteen times; winning five, drawing four and losing five.
The last three matches have all been won by Japan.
Fans in Australia and Japan will be having a late night in front of their television at
home. For the rest of us, it's another hot afternoon in Germany.
The first free-kick was awarded to Japan, on the edge of the
Australian area, within a minute.
Then on the sixth minute, Australia's Mark Viduka had a double chance
as he came in from the left. The angle at the near post was tight and Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi
was fortunate to keep the threat out, at the second attempt.
Both teams continued to have little half chances; with a sleek
back-heeled, one-two from Mark Viduka, almost working for the in-running Marco Bresciano.
Then the Australians were shocked in the 26th minute, when Shunsuke
Nakamura crossed high from the right wing. Mark Schwarzer jumped and almost reached out
his palm to the ball but seemed to be nudged out of way the by a crouching, Naohiro
Guus Hiddink wanted to see the replay on an official's monitor.
Harry Kewell replied at the other end with a shot that just skimmed
over the bar.
Bresciano's free-kick, five minutes before the break, curled around
the wall and swung in towards the near post. Unfortunately, for the jumping Australians,
the ball fell into the side-netting. From the wrong part of the stadium, it might have
looked like a goal.
The question on everyone's mind was whether this was going to be
another one of those afternoon second-halves, where the players are drained of energy due
to the heat.
In a strategic sleight of hand, Guus Hiddink introduced Joshua Kennedy
for Craig Moore, with thirty minutes left to change the balance of the game.
Straight away, the Dynamo Dresden was involved in a few goal area
incidents and earned the 68th minute free-kick for Mark Viduka's grass skimming shot that
forced Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi to dive down to the right for another crucial save.
With nothing left to lose, Hiddink played his last card with fifteen
minutes to go; risking holes in the middle for more firepower up front. Within two
minutes, John Aloisi was in the Egyptian referee's book for the wrong reason though.
With six minutes to go, Australia scored their first ever World Cup
Finals goal when Tim Cahill hooked in a loose ball from Lucas Neill's long throw-in on the
In the last minutes, neither team was prepared to settle for a draw.
Just before closing time, Tim Cahill again put his name on the
score-sheet again after he received a square ball from the right and curled it into the
top left-hand corner; to send a slightly overweight Guus Hiddink into something of a
There was still energy left in the Australians as a fresh John Aloisi
ran the ball into the area; past the back-peddling Yuichi Komano; in front of the incoming
Tsuneyasu Miyamoto; to release a shot across the face of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi.
Australia 3 - Japan 1
0:1 Shunsuke Nakamura (26)
1:1 Tim Cahill (84)
2:1 Tim Cahill (89)
3:1 John Aloisi (93)
Our Man of The Match:
Tim Cahill; who wrote history for Australia with the Socceroos' first World Cup Finals
goal and inspired the team to push on and extend their lead.
Australia: (Captain Mark Viduka)
1 Mark Schwarzer; 2 Lucas Neill, 3 Craig Moore; 5 Jason Culina,
7 Brett Emerton, 13 Vince Grella, 14 Scott Chipperfield, 20 Luke
Wilkshire, 23 Marco Bresciano; 9 Mark Viduka, 10 Harry Kewell.
Japan: (Captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto)
23 Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi; 3 Yuichi Komano, 5 Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, 14 Alessandro Santos, 19
Keisuke Tsuboi, 22 Yuji Nakazawa; 7 Hidetoshi Nakata, 10 Shunsuke Nakamura, 15 Takashi
Fukunishi; 9 Naohiro Takahara, 13 Atsushi Yanagisawa.
Essam Abd El Fatah (Egypt)
53 Mins (Australia) - 4 Tim Cahill in for 23 Marco Bresciano
56 Mins (Japan) - 2 Teruyuki Moniwa in for 19 Keisuke Tsuboi
61 Mins (Australia) - 19 Joshua Kennedy in for Craig Moore
75 Mins (Australia) - 15 John Aloisi in for 20 Luke Wilkshire
79 Mins (Japan) - 18 Shinji Ono in for 13 Atsushi Yanagisawa
91 Mins (Japan) - 16 Masashi Oguro in for 2 Teruyuki Moniwa
31 Mins - Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (Japan)
34 Mins - Vince Grella (Australia)
40 Mins - Naohiro Takahara (Japan)
58 Mins - Craig Moore (Australia)
68 Mins - Teruyuki Moniwa (Japan)
69 Mins - Tim Cahill (Australia)
77 Mins - John Aloisi (Australia)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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