The Samurai Blue’s journey may not have been pretty, but the destination is all that mattered.

A pair of late goals by Kaoru Mitoma drove Japan to a 2-0 win over Australia on Thursday night in Sydney, clinching a seventh straight appearance in this year's FIFA World Cup by virtue of a guaranteed top-two finish in Group B of Asia's final qualifying round.

"It was difficult to approach this game because of the travel to Australia and other factors, but the players prepared well and I'm glad the efforts of our staff to help them were rewarded with a World Cup berth," Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu said.