Soccer: Japan reach World Cup, but pressure may remain for Moriyasu


What began as a rocky World Cup qualification journey culminated in scenes of jubilation for Japan on Thursday at a waterlogged Stadium Australia in Sydney. A late brace from super sub Kaoru Mitoma turned a stalemate into an emphatic 2-0 victory for the Samurai Blue over Group B rivals Australia, clinching a seventh straight World Cup berth with a game to spare. The result marked a turnaround from early in the final Asian qualifying phase for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, when manager Hajime Moriyasu and his team faced heavy scrutiny for losing two of their first three matches. A shock 1-0 home...

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