Agony of Doha

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The Agony of Doha (ドーハの悲劇 Dōha no higeki)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. is a term used by fans of the Japanese national football team to refer to the qualification match for their 1994 FIFA World Cup match with Iraq, held in Doha, Qatar on October 28, 1993.

A win against Iraq would have earned Japan its first appearance at the World Cup finals as one of the two representatives from the Asian Football Confederation. Japan led Iraq 2-1 going into the final minute, but a late Iraqi goal ended the match in a draw. Instead, the World Cup finals spot went to arch-rival South Korea, which beat North Korea 3-0 in its final qualifying match. South Korea was even with Japan on points, but won the tie-breaker with the goal difference advantage. Fans in South Korea refer to the team's qualification as "the Miracle of Doha" (도하의 기적/도하의 奇跡 or Doha ui Gijeok.)

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 four consecutive World Cup finals, team members from this match are still known as and remains a...
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