SAITAMA, Japan – Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday after a stoppage-time penalty by Keisuke Honda secured a 1-1 draw with Australia.
Tommy Oar had given Australia a 1-0 lead in the 82nd minute but a handball by Matthew McKay in extra time set up the penalty for Honda, who beat Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with left-footed shot to the top corner. Japan needed at least a point to clinch a spot in next year's World Cup in Brazil from Group B in Asian qualifying.
Both teams had great scoring chances in the first half, but Schwarzer got his right hand up to block Shinji Kagawa's shot from close range. Later, Brett Holman fed a through ball to Robbie Kruse who fired a right-footed shot that Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima knocked down with an outstretched arm.