Japan off to a losing start in new World Cup qualifying round

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

Japan star-player Keisuke Honda isn’t happy with the referee who didn’t see that second-half substitute Takuma Asano’s shot had clearly crossed the goal line. (Photo by Yusuke Nakanishi/AFLO)

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

UAE’s Ismail Al Hammadi goes to ground for a penalty during the Asian qualifier for FIFA World Cup Russia between Japan and UAE in Saitama on September 1st, 2016. (Photo by Yoshio Tsunoda)

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

Japan’s head coach Vahid Halilhodzic (L) remonstrates with referee Abdul Rahman Al-Jassim during the second-half. (Photo by Yoshio Tsunoda)

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

UAE players celebrate scoring their penalty in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier Final Round Group B game between Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates. (Photo by YUTAKA/AFLO)

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

Japan Fans in a better mood before the game at a sell-out Saitama Stadium 2002. (Photo by YUTAKA/AFLO)

FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Asian Qualifier - Final Round Group B : Japan 1-2 United Arab Emirates

Urawa Reds and Japan goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa picks the ball out of the net after UAE equalise from a first-half free-kick. (Photo by Yusuke Nakanishi/AFLO)