Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Africa-webo
Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, tying Australia 1-1 Tuesday night on Keisuke Honda's penalty kick in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Before a crowd of 62,172, Tommy Oar put Australia ahead in the 82nd minute. But Matthew McKay's hand ball set up the penalty kick for Honda, who beat goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with a left-footed shot to the top corner. One year and eight days before the tournament opener in Sao Paulo, Japan qualified for its fifth straight World Cup and joined host Brazil in the 32-nation field. ''I have achieved one of the goals I was hired for,'' Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said. ''But just qualifying is not enough. We have a very strong commitment to playing well so we will aim even higher in Brazil.'' Japan has never advanced past the second round of soccer's showpiece. Honda had missed Japan's last two matches - both defeats. ''Honda is a special player,'' said Zaccheroni, a former coach of AC Milan, Inter Mil...
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