1993 Japan v Iraq football match

Last updated

Japan v Iraq (1993)
Agony of Doha (ドーハの悲劇)
Miracle of Doha (도하의 기적)
Event 1994 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers
Matchday 5
South Korea qualifies for the 1994 FIFA World Cup
Date28 October 1993;27 years ago (1993-10-28)
Venue Al-Ahly Stadium, Doha
Referee Serge Muhmenthaler (Switzerland)
Attendance4,000

During the final match of the final qualification round for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Japan and Iraq played to a 2–2 draw in Doha, Qatar. If Japan had won the match, they would have qualified for the World Cup for the first time. Instead, Japan finished third in the AFC qualification and arch-rival South Korea qualified instead. The Japanese media refers to the match as the "Agony of Doha" (Japanese : ドーハの悲劇, romanized: Dōha no higeki), [note 1] whereas the South Korean media, due to the country's national football team only qualifying as a last minute result of this match, refers to it as the "Miracle of Doha" (Korean : 도하의 기적, romanized: Dohaui gijeok).

Contents

The failure to qualify and the dramatic way in which it happened caused great disappointment for Japanese fans. Football had become wildly popular in Japan with the launch of the professional J. League earlier that year and the team had never been this close to qualifying for the World Cup. Although Japan has since qualified for six consecutive World Cup finals (even co-hosting one), team members from this match are still known as "Class of Doha" (ドーハ組, Dōha gumi) and "Never forget Doha" (ドーハを忘れるな, Dōha o wasureruna) remains a rallying cry for fans.

Leading up to the match

Six nations (Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) competed in the final round of Asian zone qualifying for two places in the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States. The six finalists played each other in Doha, Qatar in a round robin format of matches held between 15 and 28 October 1993. After four rounds of matches and with one match remaining for each team, the standings looked as follows.

TeamPtsPldWDLGFGAGD
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 54211523
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 54130431
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg  South Korea 44121642
Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq 44121770
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 4420257-2
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 2410359-4

(Win = 2 points, draw = 1 point, loss = 0 points; tie broken by goal difference)

In the 4th round of matches, Japan defeated South Korea 1-0 taking first place in the standings going into the final match. Although just one point separated the 1st and 5th spots and only North Korea had been eliminated, Japan would have qualified for the finals with a win regardless of any other results. Japan still would have qualified with a draw as long as either South Korea or Saudi Arabia failed to win its last match and Iran did not defeat Saudi Arabia by more than four goals.

Final match

The match was held on 28 October 1993, simultaneously with the other 5th round matches, South Korea versus North Korea and Saudi Arabia versus Iran, held in other venues in Doha.

Japan took the lead first on a first half goal by Kazuyoshi Miura, but Iraq equalized just prior to half time. Japan again took the lead with a goal from Masashi Nakayama. The 2-1 score stood as the match approached the 90th minute.

The matches at the other venues had ended earlier, with South Korea beating North Korea 3-0 and Saudi Arabia beating Iran 4-3. This meant Japan would have to hold onto the score in order to qualify for the World Cup, the combination of results eliminating South Korea.

However, Japan gave the ball up to Iraq, and just after the match entered stoppage time, Jaffar Omran Salman of Iraq scored a goal from a corner kick, tying the score at 2-2. The referee blew the final whistle and finished the match moments after this, eliminating both teams.

Match details

Japan  Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg2 2Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq
Miura Soccerball shade.svg 5'
Nakayama Soccerball shade.svg 69'
(FIFA Report) Radhi Soccerball shade.svg 54'
Omran Soccerball shade.svg 90+1'
Al-Ahly Stadium, Doha
Attendance: 4,000
Referee: Serge Muhmenthaler (Switzerland)
Kit left arm japan93.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body japan93.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm japan93.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts japan93.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Japan
Kit left arm iraq93.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body iraq93.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm iraq93.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts iraq93.png
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Iraq
Japan:
GK1 Shigetatsu Matsunaga Yellow card.svg 84'
LB3 Toshinobu Katsuya Yellow card.svg 10'
RB4 Takumi Horiike
CB5 Tetsuji Hashiratani (c)
CB7 Masami Ihara
MF10 Ruy Ramos
MF15 Mitsunori Yoshida
MF17 Hajime Moriyasu
FW11 Kazuyoshi Miura
FW12 Kenta Hasegawa Sub off.svg 59'
FW16 Masashi Nakayama Sub off.svg 80'
Substitutes:
 8 Masahiro Fukuda Sub on.svg 59'
 9 Nobuhiro Takeda Sub on.svg 80'
Manager:
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Hans Ooft
Iraq:
GK21 Ibrahim Salim
DF2 Samir Kadhim
DF3 Saad Abdul-Hamed Yellow card.svg 80'
DF4 Radhi Shenaishil
DF14 Salim Hussein
MF18 Munthir Khalaf
MF12 Mohammed Jassim Sub off.svg HT'
MF22 Bassam Raouf Sub off.svg 71'
FW8 Ahmad Radhi (c)Yellow card.svg 23'
FW9 Alaa Kadhim
FW17 Laith Hussein
Substitutes:
 5 Abdul-Jabar Hashim Sub on.svg 71'
 16 Jaffar Omran Sub on.svg HT'
Manager:
Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg Ammo Baba

Results

After the final round of matches, the standings looked as follows:

TeamPtsPldWDLGFGAGD
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 75230862
Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg  South Korea 65221945
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 65221743
Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq 55131990
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 45203811-3
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea 25104512-7

Saudi Arabia took first place with its 4-3 victory over Iran. Japan and South Korea were even on points, but South Korea held the goal difference advantage after the 3-goal victory over North Korea, and won the tiebreaker.

During the final round of the Asian qualifiers, South Korea won the match against Iran (3-0), but tied in subsequent matches against Iraq (2-2) and Saudi Arabia (1-1), and lost a match against Japan (0-1). Had Japan won this match against Iraq, South Korea would have been disqualified even if they won the match against North Korea held on the same day. But as Japan and Iraq tied in the last minute, Japan was disqualified instead, and South Korea was qualified, making the South Korean media naming the result a miracle.

Manager Marius Johan Ooft was fired weeks after the match, and the elimination from the tournament effectively ended World Cup aspirations for the majority of the team, most notably the midfield general Ruy Ramos. Only two Japanese players who appeared in the match, Nakayama and Masami Ihara, would go on to appear in Japan's 1998 FIFA World Cup squad.

However, the disheartening result would serve as an inspiration in future World Cup qualification campaigns, and to this day, Doha no higeki is invoked by the Japanese media and fans.

Aftermath

Japan, after missing the 1994 edition, eventually qualified for 1998 FIFA World Cup, before hosting the 2002 FIFA World Cup automatically along with their rivals South Korea. The South Koreans dramatically beat Portugal, Italy and Spain and ended in 4th place while Japan were eliminated in the Round of 16. Both teams lost to Turkey. It was the first time ever for both teams to reach the knockout phase.

They also qualified for every single FIFA World Cup edition since then (up to 2018), reaching the Round of 16 in 2010 and 2018, only to be eliminated in dramatic fashion both times: losing to Paraguay in 2010 in the penalty shoot-out and to Belgium in 2018 by 3-2 after conceding in the fourth minute of the stoppage time after the Belgians set up a counter-attack following a Japanese corner kick. Also in that match, Japan was winning by 2-0 until the 69th minute. [1]

For Iraq, this failure is just one part of the much larger World Cup drought. In comparison to increasing success of the Japanese side, Iraq has repeatedly missed the opportunity to qualify for every World Cup, and, as for the recent 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, Iraq had only qualified for the 1986 edition. In addition, sectarian conflicts and internal turmoil have prevented Iraq from achieving a greater status in Asian football. Since this game as well, Iraq has never beaten Japan in a competitive match, be it friendlies or major competitions since 1982, the last time Iraq won. Iraq also suffered a losing streak to Japan since this game, starting with a 1–4 defeat in 2000 AFC Asian Cup (which was Japan's first win over Iraq), until 2017 when Iraq drew Japan 1–1 to end the country's losing streak. [2]

Japan in neutral site qualifiers

Beginning with qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup, AFC has used home-and-away round robin format for its final qualifying round, instead of the single-venue format used in 1993. However, in two of the subsequent World Cup qualifying campaigns, Japan has determined its World Cup fate in neutral site matches.

In 1997, Japan and Iran finished 2nd in their respective qualifying groups for the 1998 edition, and met in the 3rd place match on 16 November 1997, in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The match would decide the 3rd and last automatic qualifier from Asia and the loser would face Australia in a two-legged playoff. Unlike the match four years before, Japan fell behind in the second half, but scored a late equalizer and won 3-2 on a golden goal in extra time, earning the nation its first trip to the World Cup. This match was tagged "Joy of Johor Bahru" (ジョホールバルの歓喜, Johōrubaru no kanki) in reference to the Agony of Doha.

On 8 June 2005, Japan beat North Korea 2-0 to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Although this match was scheduled as a home match for North Korea, it was moved to Bangkok, Thailand as punishment for crowd violence in a previous match held in Pyongyang, and was played in an empty stadium. [3]

Notes

  1. The word-for-word translation of Dōha no higeki would be "Tragedy of Doha", but the "agony" translation is used more commonly in English-language commentary.

Related Research Articles

Iran national football team Mens national association football team representing Iran

The IR Iran national football team, also known as Team Melli, represents Iran in international football and is controlled by the Iran Football Federation. From December 2014 until May 2018, the men's national football team of Iran remained the highest-ranked team in Asia, representing the longest continuous period of time a team has been top of the continent in the rankings.

Japan national football team Mens national association football team representing Japan

The Japan national football team, nicknamed the Samurai Blue (サムライ・ブルー), represents Japan in men's international football and it is controlled by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for football in Japan. The head coach is Hajime Moriyasu, who is also the coach of the Japan U-23 team.

The Saudi Arabia national football team represents Saudi Arabia in men's international football and The team's colours are green and white. Saudi Arabia are known as Al-Suqour and Al-Akhdhar, The team represents both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Uzbekistan national football team

The Uzbekistan national football team represents Uzbekistan in international football and is controlled by the Uzbekistan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uzbekistan.

Iraq national football team

The Iraq national football team represents Iraq in international football and is controlled by the Iraq Football Association (IFA), the governing body for football in Iraq. Most of Iraq's home matches are played at the Basra International Stadium.

United Arab Emirates national football team national association football team

The United Arab Emirates national football team represents United Arab Emirates in international association football and serves under the auspices of the country's Football Association.

Bahrain national football team

The Bahrain national football team represents Bahrain in international football and is controlled by the Bahrain Football Association, which was founded in 1951 and joined FIFA in 1966. They have never reached the World Cup, but have twice come within one match of doing so. Bahrain won the FIFA's most improved team award in 2004, and finished fourth in the 2004 Asian Cup, beating Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals but losing to Japan in the semi-finals 4–3. Bahrain then lost to Iran in the third-place match, thus finishing in fourth place overall. Bahrain had a golden year in 2019, winning both the WAFF Championship and the Arabian Gulf Cup for the first time, under the stewardship of Hélio Sousa.

The Qatar national football team represents Qatar in international football, and is controlled by the Qatar Football Association and AFC.

Listed below are the dates and results for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for the Asian zone (AFC). For an overview of the qualification rounds, see the article 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Listed below are the dates and results for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for the Asian zone (AFC). For an overview of the qualification rounds, see the article 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Listed below are the dates and results for the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds for the Asian and Oceanian zone . For an overview of the qualification rounds, see the article 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Ibrahim Suwayed Al-Shahrani is a former Saudi Arabian football player who played most of his career for Al-Ahli. He played for the Saudi Arabia national football team and was a participant at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Australia national under-20 soccer team

The Australia national under-20 soccer team represents Australia in international under-20 soccer. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Young Socceroos.

Australia national under-23 soccer team

The Australia national under-23 soccer team represents Australia in international under-23 soccer and at the Olympic Games. The team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Olyroos.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC)

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) section of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification was allocated four assured qualifying berths for the final tournament in South Africa, and one place in a play-off. 43 teams were in the running for these spots; Laos, Brunei and the Philippines did not attempt to qualify. This was the first time Timor-Leste competed in World Cup qualification and the first time Australia attempted to qualify for the World Cup as a member of the AFC, having moved from the Oceania Football Confederation at the start of 2006.

The New Zealand national football team has participated in 13 FIFA World Cup qualification campaigns between 1970 and 2018, qualifying for two FIFA World Cups; the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

African nations at the FIFA World Cup

Association football is the most popular sport in nearly every African country, and 13 members of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have competed at the sport's biggest event – the men's FIFA World Cup.

Association football is among the most popular sports in Asia, with 12 members of the Asian Football Confederation having competed at the sport's biggest international event, the men's FIFA World Cup. The highest ranked result in the World Cup for an Asian team is 4th place in the 2002 FIFA World Cup by South Korea.

The history of the Australia national soccer team begins with their first international match in 1922. They have won four Nations Cup titles, in 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2004 and one Asian Cup in 2015. However, they have never made it to the final of the FIFA World Cup, having their best performance being in the Round of 16 in 2006.

The third round of AFC matches for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification was played from 1 September 2016 to 5 September 2017.

References

Coordinates: 25°15′06″N51°32′07″E / 25.25167°N 51.53528°E / 25.25167; 51.53528