Captain rescues Australia in draw with Japan
AUSTRALIA came from behind through a Mile Jedinak penalty to grab a 1-1 draw against Japan to remain unbeaten in Asian World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne yesterday.
The Samurai Blue rocked the Socceroos with a fifth-minute goal from midfielder Genki Haraguchi but skipper Jedinak retrieved a point in a tense game with his spot kick.
Australia have not beaten Japan for seven years while the Japanese have yet to win a World Cup qualifier in Australia.
Australia stay a point ahead of Japan in Group B and remain unbeaten in four qualifiers on the road to Russia 2018.
"We got caught with a sucker punch trying to force things and they sat back very deep and sweated on that pass in the middle," Jedinak said.
"We regrouped at half-time and we were told to have a reaction. There looked like only one team winning the game, it was unfortunate we didn't get that second goal."
The Socceroos have played Japan 24 times in full internationals, winning seven games, losing eight and finishing level in the rest.
Australia next play Thailand in Bangkok and Japan host Saudi Arabia next month.