STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Mighty Japan stunned at home by Oman

Japan's poor performance disappointed some 5,000 local fans allowed to watch the game at the stadium after the number of spectators was slashed due to virus restrictions.

Published: 02nd September 2021 09:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2021 09:29 PM   |  A+A-

Takefusa Kubo

Takefusa Kubo of Japan (File Photo | AFP)

By AFP

TOKYO: Oman stunned Japan in the opening game of the final World Cup qualifying round on Thursday, winning 1-0 thanks to an Issam Al Sabhi goal in the closing minutes.

Japan's shock home defeat in Group B came after the Samurai Blue dominated the previous rounds, with eight wins from eight.

After a scoreless first half at a rainy Panasonic Stadium in Osaka, the hosts sent on young stars Takefusa Kubo and Ritsu Doan -- both joining the national team after playing in the Tokyo Olympics.

But Oman broke through Japan's defensive line several times and Al Sabhi netted the 88th-minute winner -- just a few minutes after coming off the bench.

He said it was an "amazing feeling" when he scored the goal.

"Thank God. We got a good result. We worked together very hard," he told a news conference.

Oman coach Branko Ivankovic toasted "a historical victory" for the team.

Japan's poor performance disappointed some 5,000 local fans allowed to watch the game at the stadium after the number of spectators was slashed due to virus restrictions.

Captain Maya Yoshida lamented the team's showing.

"We lost as we were supposed to lose," he said. "Our tempo was bad. Our combination was bad. Really bad."

Japan, Asia's highest-ranked side, are seeking a seventh straight appearance at the World Cup finals in 2022 in Qatar.

The group also includes Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the World Cup, and the third-placed sides will face off for a chance to enter the intercontinental play-off.

Japan take on China in Doha next week.
 



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp