Japan's Keisuke Honda celebrates his goal against Jordan during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Saitama, north of Tokyo, June 8, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Japan can clinch a berth to the World Cup Finals in Brazil next summer with a win over Jordan on Tuesday.
Japan has already clinched a spot in the fifth round in the event that the team was to lose its remaining three qualifiers and other teams passed it. However, a win would put them throughout without the need for any playoff. If they clinched, they would be the second team, after host nation Brazil, to secure a spot int eh competition; they would be the first team to accomplish the feat through the elimination process.
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No other team in Group B has anywhere near the amount of points Japan has. Their 13 points are followed by five from Australia, Iraq, and Oman. Jordan sits in last place in the group with four points.
For Jordan this game is of uttermost importance. A loss would put them behind the rest of the pack with only two remaining games against Australia and Japan. Jordan has won one game, drawn one, and lost three. The team started its World Cup run with a 1-1 draw to Iraq on June 3, 2012. Five days later, Jordan fell 6-0 to Japan on the road; they will surely be seeking retribution for that embarrassment. On September 12, the team secured its only victory of the tournament thus far: a 2-1 win over mighty Australia. Since then the team has lost two straight, a 2-1 loss to Oman and a 1-0 loss to Iraq.
Predictions: Japan will be excited to clinch their spot in Brazil and will destroy Jordan 4-0.
Start Time: 10 AM EST
TV: Al Jazeera Sports + 5