Australia wasted several opportunities and stayed tied 0-0 with Japan after 30 minutes of a fast-paced Asian Cup final on Saturday.
Harry Kewell's long-range attempt was easily caught by Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, while Matt McKay's left-foot volley sailed wide as Australia created two chances inside the first two minutes.
Keisuke Honda had a close-range effort and free kick saved by Mark Schwarzer.
Carl Valeri failed to connect with a good feed from Tim Cahill in front of the Japanese goal. Cahill then headed over for Kewell, but his header from a few meters out was punched away by Kawashima.