Qantas Socceroos defender Jade North has fond memories of Australia’s last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting with Japan.
Qantas Socceroos defender Jade North has fond memories of Australia-s last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting with Japan.
Three years ago, in front of a boisterous Melbourne crowd, North lined up for the Qantas Socceroos in a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph that saw Australia to South Africa with a memorable win and top spot in their qualification group.
North, a regular contributor nowadays with J.League side Consadole Sapporo, is hoping for more of the same when the regional rivals meet again in Brisbane in June.
“For me, the World Cup was the big one when we beat the Japanese in the 2006 World Cup,” said North, reflecting on his favourite past meetings with Japan.
“But also on a personal note, when I played, we beat Japan in a World Cup qualifier in Melbourne, 2-1, that was one of the highlights of my career.”
North has gained a tremendous insight into Japanese football since first arriving in Japan with FC Tokyo in 2011.
A sometime starter with the capital-based outfit, North is a cornerstone member with his new club in Sapporo, starting all of their J.League matches this campaign.
Though his club have struggled throughout the early stages of the season, North himself has been in good form and has personally been impressed by the quality on show from his opponents, and, one Australian in particular.
“They (Japanese players) can attack from anywhere, they can score from anywhere, free kicks, set pieces,” said North.
“Alex Brosque - he-s been playing out of his skin lately and credit to him, Shimizu are sitting second at the moment, he-s having a great season and scoring goals for the Qantas Socceroos.
“I think he-d be a threat to the Japanese (in Brisbane).”
The Qantas Socceroos begin their final phase of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a clash against Oman in Muscat on Friday, 8 June.
Soon after, the Qantas Socceroos will host Japan in their first home fixture of the fourth stage of Asia-s FIFA World Cup qualification process on Tuesday, 12 June at Brisbane-s Suncorp Stadium. Kick off is at 8pm.
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