Japan 2-1 Australia: Celtic star plays part in winning goal as Hibs ace denied by VAR decision

Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi came off the bench as Japan earned themselves a vital win in World Cup qualifying with a 2-1 triumph over Australia.

Kyogo Furuhashi, centre, looks on as Aziz Behich inadvertently scores a winning goal for Japan as Australia lose in Saitama. Picture: Getty

The Parkhead favourite was introduced in the 61st minute with his side leading 1-0 thanks to an early drilled finish from Ao Tanaka.

After Ajdin Hrustic smashed in a terrific equaliser off the underside of the crossbar, Kyogo had the opportunity to retake the lead but couldn’t covert.

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However, he would help make up for his profligacy by putting pressure on Aziz Behich as the defender tried to clear from his own goal-line, only to completely fluff his attempt as it rolled into the back of the net.

Kyogo’s Celtic team-mate Tom Rogic started for the visitors. The midfielder set up Adam Taggert for a shot which was pushed onto the post. The towering playmaker also missed an excellent opportunity when presented with a sight at goal shortly before Kyogo’s introduction.

Australia made amends for their missed opportunities when they grabbed an equaliser in bizarre but spectacular fashion.

After originally giving a free-kick, referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim pointed to the spot following Hidemasa Morita’s foul on Hrustic. Hibs star Martin Boyle was all set to take the penalty before VAR intervened, giving a free-kick right on the edge of the area instead. It all became academic when Hrustic flashed in an excellent strike from the set-piece.

The result ends Australia’s 100 per cent record after four games, while it moves Japan three points behind the Socceroos and fellow Group B leaders Saudi Arabia. The top two advance to the World Cup finals, while third goes into round four.

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