Qantas Socceroo striker Josh Kennedy is no stranger to the occasion of an Australia versus Japan clash and has urged the Brisbane public to get behind Asia’s latest great rivalry at Brisbane Stadium on 12 June.
Qantas Socceroo striker Joshua Kennedy is no stranger to the occasion of an Australia versus Japan clash and has urged the Brisbane public to get behind Asia-s latest great rivalry at Brisbane Stadium on 12 June.
Kennedy was one of the game breakers when the most emphatic chapter in the history of Qantas Socceroos/Samurai Blue clashes was written in Kaiserslautern at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Introduced as a substitute on the hour mark, Kennedy, along with fellow substitutes Tim Cahill and John Aloisi, ultimately wrestled the match from Japan-s grasp and earned Australia its first ever FIFA World Cup triumph.
When the two nations meet again next month, the stakes will again be high and Kennedy - who plays his club football with J.League side Nagoya Grampus - will be relishing the occasion.
“We-re seen as first and second in Asia in the rankings,” said Kennedy.
“I think it-s, definitely for the Australian people, it-s a game to come and see.”
Kennedy is a virtual celebrity in Japan after nearly four seasons with one of the powerhouse clubs of the J.League.
Since arriving at Nagoya in 2009, Kennedy has found the back of the net nearly fifty times in J.League matches, in addition to a handful of strikes in continental and cup competitions.
Knowing the make up of the Japanese lineup more intimately than most, Kennedy is aware of the scope of the challenge that awaits the Qantas Socceroos in Brisbane.
Equally, Kennedy knows the quality of he and his team-mates, who head into next month-s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on the back of a very successful 2011 and solid start to 2012.
“I think over the last few years we-ve got that relationship and rivalry from the World Cup and the Asian Cup where we definitely look forward to playing them and vice versa,” said Kennedy.
“It-s a home game, we definitely want the points and we want them to go home with nothing.”
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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