Maya Yoshida’s Japan remain one point behind Australia in their World Cup qualifying group following a 1-1 draw with the Socceroos in Melbourne.
The visitors took a surprise sixth minute lead when Keisuke Honda found Hertha midfielder Genki Haraguchi who produced a clinical finish past Socceroos ‘keeper Matthew Ryan.
Despite having less of the possession, it was a solid defensive showing from the Japanese, with Yoshida helping to guide Samurai Blue to a deserved shut out in the first half.
However, shortly into the second 45 goal scorer Haraguchi went from hero to villain as he gave away a penalty which Aston Villa man Mile Jedinak converted to bring the hosts level.
Yoshida played the full game for his side and will now return to Southampton after a successful few days for Japan who picked up four points from two games in Group B of the Asia qualifying region.