Japan have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the fifth time in a row, despite losing the second leg of the AFC/CONCACAF play-off against Mexico in Toluca.

A 2-0 victory in the first leg had given them a good cushion going into the return match and their position was strengthened further when Eriko Arakawa scored after 12 minutes to stretch Japan's lead.

Yet just four minutes later Mexico found themselves level on the night when Fatima Levya steered the ball home. In the 28th minute, Maribel Dominguez raised the hopes of the home team still further when she steered the ball home.

Despite intense pressure for the remainder of the match, Japan's defence held firm for a 3-2 aggregate win.

Japan are the 15th qualifier for the FIFA Women's World Cup, with only the representative of the Oceania Football Confederation still to be decided.