Earlier this week, we looked at the first half of the last decade as this rivalry really ramped up. Now we look at the five most recent clashes, starting in the Sunshine State in 2012.
June 12, 2012, Lang Park, Brisbane: 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Two players sent off. Sensational football on a poor pitch and an Aussie comeback. This was epic.
After Mark Milligan was red-carded in the second half, Japan then took the lead 10 minutes later after some crafty wing play.
A home loss looked on the cards.
But a late penalty – albeit somewhat controversial – was smashed home by Luke Wilkshire and both sides shared the points 1-1.
June 4, 2013, Saitama 2002 Stadium, Saitama, Tokyo: 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
The Socceroos came into this game under heavy criticism for the way they had played in the group.
But Holger Osieck’s men put in arguably their best shift of the group stages by stifling Japan and taking the lead.
It looked like an upset was on the cards, but with minutes left, Matt McKay was adjudged to have handled in the box and Keisuke Honda smashed home the equaliser as Japan progressed to the 2014 World Cup with the 1-1 draw.
July 25, 2013, Hwaseong Stadium Seoul, South Korea: 2013 East Asian Cup
A largely Hyundai A-League-based squad almost pulled off a stunning fightback in Seoul.
Down 2-0 with just 15 minutes left, two goals in three minutes from Mitch Duke and substitute Tomi Juric had Holger Osieck’s side level.
But parity lasted only a minute as Yuya Osako snatched the lead back for Japan and they held on to win a thriller 3-2.
November 18, 2014, Yanmar Stadium, Osaka, Japan: 2014 Friendly
In a pre-2015 AFC Asian Cup friendly, Australia dominated the first hour as Ange's gameplan began to take hold, only to find themselves 2-0 down after conceding twice in the space of seven minutes.
Tim Cahill was brought on with 15 minutes left to try and turn things around and while Australia’s greatest-ever scorer nabbed a trademark header in stoppage-time, the hosts held on for a 2-1 win.
October 11, 2016, Docklands Stadium, Melbourne: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier:
The visitors caught the Caltex Socceroos napping early on to take a shock fifth-minute lead via Genki Haraguchi’s goal.
Roared on by a big home crowd Australia lifted after the break and Haraguchi went from hero to villain for Japan as he bundled Tomi Juric over in the box.
A penalty ensued and skipper Mile Jedinak did what he always does: he slammed home from the spot.
But neither side could find a winner as they played out a 1-1 draw.
August 31, 2017, Saitama Stadium, Tokyo: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
What will happen next?
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