TOKYO: Maya Yoshida confronted Saudi Arabia fans and later accused them of making “discriminatory gestures” after defeat left Japan in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1994. Japan’s captain had angry words with a section of the home fans following the qualifying defeat in Jeddah on Thursday, after they were seen taunting him during a post-match interview. Mobile phone footage showed the Sampdoria defender marching towards the fence separating the supporters from the pitch, jabbing his finger and remonstrating with them. He then strode off after being restrained by Japanese officials, but later returned to explain his reaction to reporters. “There were discriminatory gestures,” the 33-year-old was quoted as saying by Japanese media, without expanding on what the gestures were. “It’s difficult to accept. It happened in the last qualifiers as well. It’s very disappointing.” The result left Japan with just three points from three games in Group B, having started the campaign with a shock home loss to Oman and a narrow away win over China. “The incident is purely individual and does not represent the Saudi fans,” a Saudi source said. “The match referee did not record the incident and the player did not file a complaint,” he added. Four-time Asian champions Japan, who have appeared at the past six World Cups, now face a must-win home clash with high-flying Australia on Tuesday.