Australia snatch win over Japan in last minutes

12th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 June 2006, KAISERSLAUTERN - Substitute Tim Cahill scored twice in the last six minutes to inspire Australia to a dramatic 3-1 win over Japan in their opening World Cup Group F match on Monday. John Aloisi, another second half substitute, made it 3-1 in the last minute. Shunsuke Nakamura had fooled Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a speculative effort on 25 minutes and Japan looked like hanging on as Australia's attacks petered out in the suffocating heat. Then goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi who

12 June 2006

KAISERSLAUTERN - Substitute Tim Cahill scored twice in the last six minutes to inspire Australia to a dramatic 3-1 win over Japan in their opening World Cup Group F match on Monday.

John Aloisi, another second half substitute, made it 3-1 in the last minute.

Shunsuke Nakamura had fooled Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a speculative effort on 25 minutes and Japan looked like hanging on as Australia's attacks petered out in the suffocating heat.

Then goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi who had earlier produced two fine saves from free-kicks, flapped at Lucas Neill's long throw and after a goalmouth scramble Cahill shot home for the Socceroos' first World Cup goal.

They drew one and lost two matches in their only other World Cup in 1974, conceding five goals.

"It's fantastic. It's a dream to become the first player to score two goals for Australia in the World Cup," Cahill said after the match in Kaiserslautern.

"It was very difficult against the Japanese players. They're a good team," added Cahill who needed special dispensation from FIFA to play for Australia after first playing for Samoa at youth level.

"It was unprofessional to give away three goals in the last six minutes," said Japan's crestfallen Brazilian coach Zico.

Nakamura had broken the deadlock in the first-half when his drifting cross into the box was completely missed by Schwarzer and bounced into the empty net.

Schwarzer, Australia's hero in their penalty shoot-out play-off win over Uruguay, claimed he had been impeded by Naohiro Takahara but Egyptian referee Essam Abd El Fatah awarded the goal.

Kawaguchi had kept Japan ahead when he got down well to stop free- kicks from Mark Viduka and Aloisi.

Then Cahill blasted in the equaliser and was allowed too much room on the edge of the Japanese area to shoot in off the post before Aloisi wrapped up a dramatic win.

Schwarzer almost gifted Japan a second before Cahill inspired their comeback when his poor headed clearance from the edge of his box sets up a sustained period of Japanese pressure and forced striker Viduka back into defensive action.

Australia's Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who took Holland South Korea to World Cup semi-finals, in 1998 and 2002, danced with delight at the end.

It was his second-half substitutions that had swung the match.

Five-times world champions Brazil kick off their campaign against Croatia in Berlin on Tuesday in the other Group F matches.

DPA

Subject: German news

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