After perhaps the most unconventional, daunting and frustrating qualifying campaign in team history, Samurai Blue have qualified for a seventh straight FIFA World Cup and have a chance to once again test Japan’s might against soccer’s elite.

Thursday night’s rain-soaked 2-0 victory over Australia was emblematic of the kind of results this Japan side has achieved over the past six months in Group B of Asia’s third and final qualifying round.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.