Socceroos recovery pic special

Table-topping Japan downed Australia 2-0 in Saitama on Thursday night, as Kawashima only had to worry about dealing with one shot on target for the whole game.

The loss leaves Australia awkwardly placed in third place in their group, two goals behind Saudi Arabia on goal difference.

Ideally the Socceroos need a heavy win over Thailand in Melbourne next week and would hope Japan can beat Saudi Arabia in their final game.

But the Metz goalkeeper is confident their rival will be joining them in Russia.

“They’re going to make it in the last game, I wish them good luck,” Kawashima told FourFourTwo.

“We don’t know how we’ll go against Saudi Arabia, we’ll try do our best also but at the same time we wish Australia the best.

“Their last game against Thailand at home, they wanted to make something good here also… I was expecting our players to get tired after 60 minutes but we did it until the end.

“I think we did well because we put them under pressure from the beginning to the end and I think that worked really well.”

Kawashima also said the desire of retaining the proclamation of being the kings of Asia was a big motivating factor after Australia won the 2015 Asian Cup.

“We know Australia are the Asian champions but we knew we had to play as a challenger even we were champions in 2011,” he said.

“It was one of our challenges and we are happy we made it.

“It’s awesome to make the World Cup, really amazing, we had the last two games if we missed this we would’ve had to fight a really difficult game against Saudi Arabia.

“Now we can relax but also we’ve been through a really difficult moment through the qualification so it’s really amazing now we’ve got a ticket to the World Cup.”

Socceroos recovery pic special