Australia–Japan football rivalry

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Australia–Japan football rivalry
Socceroos vs Samurai Blue
Australia v Japan.jpg
City or region Asia
Teams involved  Australia
First contested 27 November 1956
Number of meetings 23
Most wins Japan (8)
Most recent meeting Japan 2–1 Australia
International Friendly
(18 November 2014)
Next meeting TBD
All-time series 7–8–8

The AustraliaJapan football rivalry is a sports rivalry that exists between the national association football teams of each country, regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries.[1] The rivalry is a relatively recent one, born from a number of highly competitive matches between the two teams since Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.[2] The two teams have played each other in several significant matches, including a World Cup group stage match and the 2011 Asian Cup Final.


Socceroos supporters at a Japan match in Kaiserslautern

The first match between the two teams was played at the 1956 Olympics, ending in a 2–0 win for the Australians.[3] Another dozen matches were played between Australia and Japan until a semi-final match at the 2001 Confederations Cup which ended in a 1–0 for Japan, but the match-up really only emerged as a rivalry after 2006, when Australia joined the AFC. The first match between the two sides after this was during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a group stage game where Australia were still technically competing as Oceania representatives. With just six minutes left, Japan led by a single goal, only for Australia to score thrice in succession to secure their first ever win in a World Cup Finals match in what is regarded as one of the greatest moments in Australian sporting history.[4] A number of fierce qualifying matches over the next few years enhanced the rivalry, and Japan got revenge for their World Cup defeat by knocking the Socceroos out of the 2007 Asian Cup at the quarter-final stage via penalty shootout. In 2011, Japan again beat the Socceroos in an Asian Cup, this time in the 2011 final with a solitary goal in extra time sealing the championship.


# Date Competition Home team Score Away team Venue
1 27 November 1956 1956 Olympic Games Australia 
 Japan Australia Olympic Park, Melbourne
2 30 March 1968 International Friendly Australia  2–2  Japan Australia Sydney
3 31 March 1968 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Melbourne
4 4 April 1968 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Adelaide
5 10 October 1969 1970 World Cup Qualification Japan 
 Australia South Korea Seoul
6 16 October 1969 1970 World Cup Qualification Japan  1–1  Australia South Korea Seoul
7 22 May 1994 Kirin Cup Japan  1–1  Australia Japan Big Arch Stadium, Hiroshima
8 29 September 1994 International Friendly Japan  0–0  Australia Japan National Stadium, Tokyo
9 15 February 1995 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
10 10 February 1996 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Brandon Park, Wollongong
11 14 February 1996 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne
12 15 February 1998 International Friendly Australia 
 Japan Australia Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
13 8 June 2001 2001 Confederations Cup Japan 
 Australia Japan International Stadium, Yokohama
14 15 August 2001 AFC – OFC Challenge Cup Japan 
 Australia Japan Shizuoka Stadium, Shizuoka
15 12 June 2006 2006 World Cup Australia 
 Japan Germany Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern
16 21 July 2007 2007 Asian Cup Japan 
1–1 (4-3)
 Australia Vietnam My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi
17 11 February 2009 2010 World Cup Qualification Japan  0–0  Australia Japan International Stadium, Yokohama
18 17 June 2009 2010 World Cup Qualification Australia 
 Japan Australia MCG, Melbourne
19 29 January 2011 2011 Asian Cup Final Australia 
0–1 (a.e.t)
 Japan Qatar Khalifa International Stadium, Doha
20 12 June 2012 2014 World Cup Qualification Australia  1–1  Japan Australia Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
21 4 June 2013 2014 World Cup Qualification Japan  1–1  Australia Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama
22 25 July 2013 2013 East Asian Cup Japan 
 Australia South Korea Hwaseong Stadium, Hwaseong
23 18 November 2014 International Friendly Japan 
 Australia Japan Nagai Stadium, Osaka


Australia Australia 23 7 8 8 30 32 -2
Japan Japan 23 8 8 7 32 30 +2

Top scorers[edit]

Players in bold are still available for selection.

Rank Player Goals
1 Australia Tim Cahill 5
2 Japan Kunishige Kamamoto 4
3 Australia Tommy McColl 3
4 Australia John Aloisi 2
Australia Ray Baartz
Japan Takashi Hirano
Japan Hidetoshi Nakata
Japan Yuya Osako
Japan Takuya Takagi