Osieck feels bereaved after Australia concede late penalty in Japan

Australia’s World Cup chances now lay in their own hands following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Japan in Saitama.

Australia’s World Cup chances now lay in their own hands following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Japan in Saitama.

The Socceroos took an 81st minute lead thanks to Tommy Oar’s first international goal but had to settle for a share of the points after Keisuke Honda made no mistake from the penalty spot after Matt McKay had been called for handball.

Holger Osieck, although admitting it was a great performance by his players, was disappointed after the final whistle.

“I'd like to give credit to the boys - I think we played an excellent game today," said Osieck.

"Whatever we discussed before the game, I think the game plan went pretty well.

"We were very solid as a defensive unit and we played quick out, we had a lot of pace in our game. I think all in all, it was a great performance.

"I have to admit before the game, the point would have been good - but when you are that close and then the circumstances went a little bit against us on a penalty, that draw is a little bit disappointing.

"We worked very diligently, very concentrated and the spirit in the group was good. Everyone was convinced we could get a result here so the entire team spirit, the entire team approach was very positive and I think the performance tonight showed it.

"I think our defensive structure was very good and they are quick - quick sort pass combination - you canot stop them 100 percent but I think the boys did very well and kept them away and Mark Schwarzer had some good saves as well.

"I think all in all our defensive performance was good."

The draw allowed Japan to book themselves a ticket to Brazil for next year’s finals but the Socceroos will now need to beat both Jordan (in Melbourne on June11) and Iraq (in Sydney on June 18) in order to join them in Rio.

 
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