Japan and Saudi Arabia both teams qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Thursday. Japan defeated Australia 2-0 in Sydney to clinch first place in Asia Group B and a spot in the World Cup for the seventh consecutive time. Saudi Arabia also qualified, finishing second in the group.
Japan had been the favorite to win the group, but Australia put up a strong fight. The Socceroos took the lead in the 26th minute, but the goal was ruled offside. Japan then dominated possession and had several chances to score, but Australia’s defense held strong.
In the 80th minute, Japan finally broke through when substitute Kaoru Mitoma scored. Japan added another goal in stoppage time to seal the win.
Saudi Arabia, which needed at least a point to qualify, played China later on Thursday and draw 1-1.
The result was enough for Saudi Arabia to finish second in the group and secure a spot in the World Cup.
This will be Japan’s ninth appearance in the World Cup and Saudi Arabia’s fifth. Japan will next play Vietnam on Tuesday, while Saudi Arabia will take on Australia.