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Posts Tagged ‘japan’

Suarez scores as Uruguay win away in Japan

Liverpool’s want away striker Luis Suarez was on the mark for his country today in their impressive 4-2 friendly win over Japan in front of a crowd in excess of forty five thousand at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu. Suarez set up his Uruguay team mate, Diego Forlan, currently of Internacional in Brazil, to open the scoring in the twenty seventh minute and Forlan grabbed his second of the game only two minutes later to double the advantage before the Japanese defence could recover from the shock of falling behind. Suarez himself scored the third in the fifty second minute as things went from bad to worse for Japan, but the goal spurred them into life and they reduced the deficit through Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa two minutes later when he was set up by playmaker Keisuke Honda of CSKA Moscow. However, the fight-back was short lived as, to the disappointment of the home fans, Lazio’s Alvaro Gonzalez made it 4-1 to the visitors in the fifty eighth minute to round off a frantic six minutes of action. Honda got his own name on the scoresheet with twenty minutes to go to give the Japanese renewed hope of a come-back, but it wasn’t to be and the Uruguayans held on for the win with Suarez having played the full ninety minutes to maintain his match fitness whilst he remain estranged from the Liverpool first team squad.

Confederations Cup: Mexico 2-1 Japan

Mexico 2 (Hernandez 54, 66)
Japan 1
(Okazaki 86)
Mineirão, Belo Horizonte. Temp. 26°C, wind 7 mph, scattered clouds. Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

TEAMS

Mexico: Ochoa, Torres Nilo, Moreno, Mier, Reyes, Guardado (Salcido 71), Torrado, Zavala, dos Santos (Barrera 78), Hernandez, Jimenez (Aquino 90).
Japan: Kawashima, Kurihara, Konno, Nagatomo (Nakamura 77), Sakai H (Uchida 58), Endo, Hosogai, Okazaki, Honda, Maeda (Yoshida 65), Kagawa.

Mexico prevailed in the battle for third place in Group A at the 2013 Confederations Cup with a hard fought 2-1 win over Japan, who end up pointless at the bottom of the group despite having played some attractive attacking football at the tournament. Things wouldn’t have had to have gone very differently for the Japanese to have reached the semi finals alongside Brazil as they dominated periods of the games against both Italy and Mexico and were unlucky to lose out by the odd goal on both occasions. However, their finishing and lack of a top class centre forward let them down on this occasion, where they came up against a Mexico side containing the prolific Javier Hernandez, who notched up his thirty fourth and thirty fifth goals in fifty three appearances for his country.

The closest either team came to breaking the deadlock before the interval was a disallowed goal from Japan in the ninth minute when Okazaki deflected an Endo shot into the corner from near the penalty spot, but was in an offside position, and a bullet header from Andres Guardado in the fortieth minute that beat Kawashima but struck the post. Hernandez opened the scoring eight minutes into the second half when he timed his run perfectly to ghost in at the near post and get his head on the end of a cross from Guardado on the left wing. His close range header flew into the net before Kawashima had time to react and Mexico finally had their first goal in open play of the tournament.

The man they call Chicharito repeated the trick twelve minutes later to score an almost identical header from practically the same spot, but this time he lost his marker at the far post from a dos Santos corner on the right to make it 2-0 to Mexico, proving yet against what an accomplished goal poacher he is. His movement off the ball makes him almost impossible to mark and his finishing rarely lets him down. It’s just a shame for Mexico they they currently rely so heavily on him for goals. Japan pushed hard to get back into the game in the last quarter of the match but didn’t get a breakthrough until the last five minutes when Shinji Okazaki got his second of the tournament. Their challenge should have been killed off in injury time when Mexico got a penalty but this time Hernandez wasn’t so clinical and Kawashima parried his spot kick. The Mexican striker was first to the rebound but he blasted his shot against the bar from point blank range. Hernandez was denied his hat-trick, but Mexico hung on for the win.

Related Links:
Mexican Football
Japanese Football
Confederations Cup 2013

Confederations Cup: Italy 4-3 Japan

Italy 4 (De Rossi 41, Uchida o.g. 50, Balotelli pen. 52, Giovinco 86)
Japan 3
(Honda pen. 21, Kagawa 33, Okazaki 69)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife. Temp. 23°C, wind 2 mph, passing clouds. Referee: Diego Abal (Argentina)

TEAMS

Italy: Buffon, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Aquilani (Giovinco 30), Montolivo, Maggio (Abate 59), Giaccherini (Marchisio 68), Balotelli.
Japan: Kawashima, Konno, Uchida (Sakai H. 73), Yoshida, Nagatomo, Endo, Hasebe (Nakamura 90+1), Okazaki, Honda, Maeda (Havenaar 79), Kagawa.

It was a topsy turvy game between Italy and Japan in front of over forty thousand fans in Recife with Japan forging ahead before Italy pegged them back and took a lead of their own only for Japan to strike back and just when it looked set to end all square the Italians grabbed a dramatic late winner. The result puts Italy into the semi finals along with hosts Brazil and eliminates the Japanese as well as Mexico.

Japan were handed the chance to take the lead in the twentieth minute Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon brought down Shinji Okazaki inside the box. Buffon escaped with a yellow card, but he wasn’t able to save the resulting penalty from CSKA Moscow’s Keisuke Honda. Manchester United’s midfield maestro Shinji Kagawa doubled the lead some thirteen minutes later with a well executed left-foot volley from the edge of the box to leave the Italians up against it. However, they got themselves into the game shortly before half time through a set piece. Andrea Pirlo’s corner was converted by Daniele De Rossi with a powerful header.

Italy started the second half strongly and turned the game around with two goals in as many minutes. Firstly Atsuto Uchida put through his own net when failing to deal with a cross from Giaccherini and then Italy won a penalty of their own when Makoto Hasebe handled inside the area. Mario Balotelli once again showed his reliability from the spot in sending the goalkeeper the wrong way for his second goal of the tournament and to complete the turn around by giving Italy a 3-2 lead.

The game then quietened down for a while as Japan’s defence restored order following a tempestuous few minutes and they began to push forwards again in search of an equaliser. It eventually came in the sixty ninth minute when a free kick from Gamba Osaka’s Yasuhito Endo was headed in by Shinji Okazaki. Japan pushed hard for the winner in the final twenty minutes and went close on several occasions, hitting the woodwork twice as Italy started to rock once again, but in typical fashion it was the Italians who snatched the late winner against the run of play when Giovinco got on to the end of a cross from Marchisio to make it 4-3. There was still time for Japan to rally and they had a goal ruled out for offside in the final moments before the final whistle gave the relieved looking Italians their three points.

Six points from their opening two games puts Italy level with Brazil at the top of Group A so the only thing riding on their meeting in the final group game is who finishes in first and second place. Japan and Mexico are now both out of the competition with zero points from their opening games so their final match is now a dead rubber to decide who comes bottom of the group.

Related Links:
Italian Football
Japanese Football
Confederations Cup 2013

Brazil off to winning start

Brazil got their 2013 Confederations Cup defence off to a perfect start in front of 67,423 fans at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília as they put three goals past the Japanese without reply to become the early leaders of Group A. With home advantage, and just one year before the World Cup kicks off, the pressure to deliver had been high but any nerves were calmed early on when Fred chested down a Marcelo cross for Neymar to fire into the top corner in only the third minute. It was the first goal in nine internationals for the symbol of Brazil‘s latest generation of talent and the quality of the strike is a step towards proving that he can cope with the weight of expectations.

To their credit, Japan didn’t crumble and fought back strongly, creating some good chances of their own whilst keeping the score at 1-0 until half time. However, they started the second half as badly as they had started the first and Corinthians midfielder Paulinho made it 2-0 from a Dani Alves cross in the 48th minute. The Brazilians looked comfortable for most of the rest of the encounter and rested all three of their forwards in the last quarter of an hour, bringing on Lucas Moura and Hernanes to strengthen the midfield. It was the third substitute, Atletico Mineiro striker Jo, who completed the scoring in injury time when he was set up nicely by Chelsea’s Oscar.

Brazil will face Mexico in their second group match on Wednesday, with Japan taking on Italy just afterwards. Mexico and Italy face off in their opening match later on today. The top two in the group will go through to the semi finals.

TEAMS:

Brazil: Júlio César, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar, Fred (Jo 81), Hulk (Hernanes 75), Neymar (Lucas 74).

Japan: Kawashima, Konno, Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Endo (Hosogai 78), Hasebe, Okazaki, Honda (Inui 88), Kiyotake (Maeda ’51), Kagawa.

Confederations Cup 2013: Team by Team Preview

The 2013 Confederations Cup kicks off in Brasilia on Saturday with a strong line up of teams competing in the World Cup dress rehearsal a year before the real thing takes place next summer. Most of them will expect to return for the 2014 World Cup – only Tahiti have been eliminated so far from the qualification process – so it’s a good chance for them to hone their preparations and get some valuable experience of the Brazilian conditions. Here’s our guide to the teams and how they will fare.


Team: Brazil
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Qualified as: Hosts

Last 5 results: Group A Fixtures:
Brazil 1-1 Russia (London, 25-03-2013, FR)
Bolivia 0-4 Brazil (Santa Cruz, 06-04-2013, FR)
Brazil 2-2 Chile (Belo Horizonte, 25-04-2013, FR)
Brazil 2-2 England (Rio de Janeiro, 02-06-2013, FR)
Brazil 3-0 France (Porto Alegre, 09-06-2013, FR)
Japan (Brasília, 15-06-2013)
Mexico (Fortaleza, 19-06-2013)
Italy (Salvador, 22-06-2013)

Star Player: Neymar. The Santos striker is the most exciting attacking talent in Brazilian football at the moment, but he still has a lot to prove, especially at international level. His goals record of 20 in 34 games for Brazil is impressive but, having made his debut just after the last World Cup, most of his national team experience has come in friendly matches. He did feature in the 2011 Copa America and 2012 Olympics, scoring in both tournaments, but wasn’t able to help his team to success on either occasion. It’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21 as he seems to have been in the headlines for years since he shot to prominence at a young age and led Santos to their Copa Libertadores triumph in 2011 and rarely a week has gone by in the past two years without rumours linking him with a big money move to Europe. New he’s finally heading to Barcelona to test himself in La Liga and he’ll want to leave his homeland on a high by impressing at the Confederations Cup before he starts his new adventure.

One to Watch: Oscar. The Chelsea midfielder has been playing an increasingly prominent role in the Brazil national team of late and now has seventeen caps and six goals to his name. Also only 21, he is coming into the tournament off the back of a successful first season in Europe where he excelled in the English Premier league and won the Europa league. His fleet footwork and incisive passing, not to mention his lethal shooting ability, make him an important supplier and scorer of goals and a successful Confedereations Cup campaign will go al long way towards staking his claim for a first team spot come next summer. Brazil could be building their team around him for years to come.

Prediction: We expect Brazil to rise to the occasion and put recent patchy form behind them by reaching the final of this event on their home soil. They have selected a strong and talented squad and will be treating the competition very seriously as it represents their only chance of competitive action in the build up to the World Cup finals. Home advantage should help them see off Japan and Mexico in their opening games and we expect them to win their group and reach the final, possibly against Spain, which would be a close encounter but they may just edge it. Read the rest of this entry »

Japan round off campaign with last gasp win against Iraq

Japan finished their World Cup 2014 qualification campaign on a high with a last minute winner against Iraq at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha. It was VFB Stuttgart midfielder Shinji Okazaki who grabbed the only goal of the game after the Iraqis had been reduced to ten men due to the sending off of Ala’a Abdul Zahra for a second bookable offence in the 82nd minute.

The result means that Alberto Zaccheroni’s men finish with seventeen points from their eight Group B matches and a record of five wins, two draws and one defeat. Iraq still have one match to play away at Australia but they cannot now qualify for the finals as they are four points behind the third place that earns a play-off spot. The team line-ups were as follows:

Iraq: Noor Sabri, Ali Rehema, Ahmad Ibrahim Khalaf, Dhurgham Ismail, Ali Adnan, Ateeh Saad (Karrar Jassim 85), Saif Salman, Younis Mahmoud, Ala’a Abdul Zahra, Hammadi Ahmad (Ali Bahjat 79), Waleed Salim

Japan: Kawashima, Konno, Inoha (Takahashi 90+4), Nagatomo, Sakai, Endō, Hosogai, Okazaki, Kiyotake (Nakamura 67), Havenaar (Maeda 70), Kagawa

Asian World Cup Qualifying Round-Up

There were four crucial matches in the Asian section of the World Cup 2014 qualification tournament this week with the headline news being that Japan became the first team to secure their qualification. They cannot now be overtaken at the top of Group B following their draw with Australia and Oman‘s victory over Iraq. Japan had gone behind to a late goal from Tommy Oar, but they won a late penalty to equalise through Keisuke Honda and draw 1-1. Oman‘s 1-0 win over Iraq in Muscat came courtesy of an Ismail Al Ajmi goal in injury time at the end of the first half.

Any of the other four teams from Group B could still finish in second spot and seal automatic qualification for the finals behind the Japanese. Oman are in pole position on nine points but they have played a game more than the other three. The remaining fixtures are Australia v Jordan and Iran v Japan on Tuesday the 11th of June and Australia v Iraq and Jordan v Oman on Tuesday the 18th of June.

In Group A Qatar and Lebanon saw their hopes of automatic qualification ended and indeed Lebanon are now completely out as they can no longer even make the play off for the fifth spot following their 1-1 draw with South Korea in Beirut. Lebanon had looked set to win as they led for most of the match through Hassan Maatouk’s 12th minute strike but their hopes were dashed deep into injury time when Chi-Woo Kim equalised for the Koreans, who now top the group. Iran beat Qatar 1-0 away in Doha with a goal from Reza Ghoochannejhad to keep the pressure on South Korea and Uzbekistan at the top of the table. The remaining Group A fixtures are South Korea v Uzbekistan and Iran v Lebanon on Tuesday the 11th of June and South Korea v Iran and Uzbekistan v Qatar on Tuesday the 18th of June.

The current group tables are as follows:

Group A P W D L F A P
South Korea 6 3 2 1 12 6 11
Uzbekistan 6 3 2 1 6 4 11
Iran 6 3 1 2 3 2 10
Qatar 7 2 1 4 4 8 7
Lebanon 7 1 2 4 3 8 5

and:

Group B P W D L F A P
Japan 7 4 2 1 15 5 14
Oman 7 2 3 2 7 9 9
Australia 6 1 4 1 7 7 7
Jordan 6 2 1 3 6 12 7
Iraq 6 1 2 3 4 6 5

Japan Squad for Confederations Cup 2013

Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni, 60, has announced his 23 man squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil the day after his team secured qualification for World Cup 2014 with a draw against Australia. Japan have one final, meaningless, World Cup qualifier to negotiate away to Iraq in Doha on Tuesday (11-06-2013) before they fly over to Brazil for the tournament where they will face the hosts in the opening match in Brasilia (15-06-2013). They must then travel to Recife for their second Group A game against Italy (19-06-2013) and to Belo Horizonte to face Mexico (22-06-2013).

The oldest and most capped player in the squad is Gamba Osaka’s Yasuhito Endo at 33 with 129 caps to his name and the squad top scorer is Shinji Okazaki with 32 goals. The squad is comprised of players from nineteen different clubs with four clubs – FC Tokyo, Gamba Osaka, Jubilo Iwata and VFB Stuttgart – having two players each and no other club supplying more than one player. There are nine home based players and fourteen overseas players in the squad.

The Japan 2013 Confederations Cup squad in full is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Hajime Hosogai (Bayer Leverkusen), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Hideto Takahashi (FC Tokyo)

Forwards: Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Shinji Okazaki (Stuttgart), Mike Havenaar (Vitesse Arnhem), Takashi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg)

Japan Qualify for the World Cup: Japan 1-1 Australia

Japan have become the first team to qualify for World Cup 2014 in Brazil following a 1-1 draw against Australia in Saitama. The point means that the Blue Samurai are now guaranteed to finish in one of the top two spots in Asian Qualifying Group B and can relax ahead of their final match away to Iraq next week. Japan could still be mathematically be pipped for first place in the group by the Iraqis, who can join them on 14 points if they win their last three games, starting with a visit to Oman later today, but it’s an unlikely scenario and won’t worry the Japanese too much even if it happens.

Australia now occupy second spot in the group with seven points from six games, ahead of Jordan only on goal difference and a point clear of Oman, with the Iraqis a point further back but having a game in hand on the latter three teams. The Socceroos know that they now have qualification in their own hands with two home matches against Jordan and Iraq left on the agenda and two wins will definitely seal their place in the finals.

It was a tight match in Saitama with both teams reluctant to take too many risks in the knowledge that a draw would be a decent result. Neither manager made a change until the 72nd minute when Australia introduced Dario Vidosic and Japan left it until ten minutes from time before shuffling their pack, but soon after they did so they fell behind to a Tommy Oar goal and responded by bringing on Havenaar and Kiyotake to push for an equaliser. Their late pressure paid off as Matt McKay handled inside his own box and Keisuke Honda smashed home the resultant penalty in injury time.

World Cup 2010 Warm Up: Ivory Coast 2-0 Japan

Ivory Coast beat Japan 2-0 in their final official warm up match for the World Cup. However, the main headline from the game played in Sion, Switzerland, was that Ivory Coast start striker and talisman Didier Drogba picked up an injury that may rule him out of the finals.

The Chelsea striker’s importance was underlined early on when his free-kick opened the scoring, albeit with a telling deflection off the unfortunate Japanese defender Tulio Tanaka, who also scored on own goal against England.

Drogba subsequently fractured his arm in a clash with Tulio, which put a major question mark over his participation in the finals. However, he has already had surgery and it is reported to have gone well so there is still hope that he will play some part for Sven Goran Eriksson’s men.

The second and clinching goal came around ten minutes from full time when Manchester City defender Kolo Toure volleyed home to send the Elephants off to South Africa with a morale boosting victory. Japan, on the other hand, are in disarray having lost four games in a row. This was to have been their last warm up match, but following the defeat they will now play Mozambique in a last ditch effort to get a win under their belt before the finals kick off.

Ivory Coast 2-0 Japan (04/06/2010)

Starting Line-Ups:

Ivory Coast:
Barry
Demel
K. Toure
Eboue
Tiene
Y. Toure
Zokora
Cheik Tiote
Drogba
Kalou
Dindane

Substitutions:
18 Doumbia for Drogba
66 Keita for Doumbia
88 Kone for Tiote

Japan:
Kawashima
Nakazawa
Tulio
Konno
Nagatomo
Endo
Abe
Hasebe
Honda
Okubo
Okazaki

Substitutions:
46 Inamoto for Abe
46 Nakamura for Honda
46 Nakamura for Endo
66 Morimoto for Okubo
66 Tamada for Okazaki
67 Komano for Konno

Goals:
Tulio (12 O.G.)
K. Toure (80)

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