Keisuke Honda will soon play his first club match on Japanese soil in 12 years after Sanfrecce Hiroshima won through to Melbourne Victory's Asian Champions League group overnight.
The blockbuster tie could also see Victory pitted against club legend Besart Berisha, currently on the outer but still contracted to the J League powerhouse.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima needed penalties to get past Thai side Chiangrai United on Tuesday night, winning 4-3 after 120 goalless minutes.
It's the result that Victory's commercial arm wanted, ensuring tremendous interest for the A-League champions when they travel to Japan on March 12.
Victory will then host Sanfrecce on May 22, a few days after the A-League grand final, in the group's final match day.
Should Victory reach the domestic decider, it could be one of the most monumental weeks in the club's history.
Victory's chief executive Trent Jacobs acknowledged the occasion.
"Sanfrecce Hiroshima's qualification sets up an exciting pair of matches, which will no doubt create a real buzz," he said.
"We as a club have recruited and prepared to have a real impact in this competition and look forward to our members and fans coming out in force."
It could also be Honda's last match, given he is out of contract at season's end and has yet to commit to playing on at Victory or elsewhere.
Honda, who has 98 caps for Japan, last played his club football at home in 2007 with Nagoya Grampus.
The 32-year-old has struggled with a hamstring issue since December but could make his first start in two months against Melbourne City in Saturday's derby.
Victory also faces Guangzhou Evergrande of China and South Korean side Daegu FC in their Champions League group.
Their first match is against the K League 1 side at AAMI Park on March 5.
Australia's other representatives, Sydney FC, also saw their group locked away after Tuesday night's qualifying matches.
South Koreans Ulsan Hyundai belted Malaysian hopefuls Perak 5-1 to complete a group containing Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale and Chinese champions Shanghai SIPG.
Sydney FC also kick off their campaign against K League opposition, hosting Ulsan on March 6.
The Newcastle Jets lost their bid to join the A-League premiers and champions in the competition when they lost their qualifier 4-1 to reigning ACL champions Kashima Antlers.
Australian Associated Press