Australia's Tommy Oar scored late in Tuesday's World Cup Qualifying match when he slipped one past goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to give the Socceroos a 1-0 lead and all but ensure a victory at Japan's Saitama Stadium. But unfortunately a late penalty in stoppage time allowed an opportunity for Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda to step up to the spot and bury the equalizer.
With the draw, Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, while Australia drops to third in Group B Asian qualifying on seven points from six matches.
Australia still has an opportunity to secure some big points on June 11 vs. Jordan and again on June 18 against Iraq.
Despite the late heartbreaker in the 91st minute, Cahill remained positive on Twitter following the match:
Amazing Night in Japan.Proud of my team and thanks 4 all the support.We stick 2gether and we give everything 4 the final 2 games #Socceroos— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) June 4, 2013
And of course, congratulating Japan and acknowledging the growing, intense rivalry between the two countries:
In Asian World Cup qualifying, a total of 10 teams are broken up into two, five-country groups. The top two from each country advance, while third-place teams enter a playoff, whereby the winner of that matchup will then take on the South American section's fifth-place team. From there, the winner advances onto the tournament, set to kick off in host country Brazil on June 12, 2014 before a new champion is announced on July 13.