Australia to face Japan in final Asian Cup warm-up

Australia will warm up for hosting the Asian Cup with a rematch of the 2011 final when they face reigning champions Japan in a friendly in Osaka on Nov. 18.

Australia to face Japan in final Asian Cup warm-up

Melbourne: Australia will warm up for hosting the Asian Cup with a rematch of the 2011 final when they face reigning champions Japan in a friendly in Osaka on Nov. 18.

Australia lost the 2011 final when the Blue Samurai scored in extra time and the two nations have waged an intriguing battle for continental supremacy since, drawing 1-1 in two qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.

"I`m delighted we have been able to secure a match against Japan in November to finalise our preparations for the Asian Cup," Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said in a statement on Thursday.

"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."

The Socceroos won their first match in 10 months under Postecoglou with a 3-2 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia on Monday after being eliminated from the World Cup with three straight defeats and losing a recent friendly to Belgium 2-0.

Japan are also rebuilding under new coach Javier Aguirre after Alberto Zaccheroni departed in the wake of a disappointing first round exit in Brazil.

Australia host the Asian Cup from Jan. 9-31.

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