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Champion Japan, Australia to meet before Asian Cup

September 11, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) — Defending Asian Cup champion Japan will host 2011 runner-up Australia in an international friendly ahead of the 2015 event.

Football Federation Australia on Thursday confirmed the Nov. 18 match in Osaka, just weeks before the continental championship kicks off in Australia.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said: “Our aim is to become the best football nation in Asia, and Japan is one of nations we will have to overcome to achieve that goal.”

Japan beat Australia in the 2011 final and overall has an 8-7 historical edge on the Socceroos, with seven draws.

Both countries were eliminated in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in a disappointing campaign for Asian teams in Brazil.

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