Japan vs Australia (Asian Cup) – Live Blogging!

21 07 2007

AFC Asian Cup…So, this is the spot it will happen. A little under 10 hours from now, Australia take on Japan… and I’ll live-blog it – from this URL. So stay tuned…


So thus far, no-one wants to be the favourite heading into this game, and both teams have turned it into a veritable love-fest, competing to see who can say the most ‘nice’ things about each other.

  • Mark Schwarzer (Australian Keeper) on his counterpart, Japanese Keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi – “I think he is a very good goalkeeper. At the World Cup last year he proved for a large part of the game to be the difference with the saves he made. Obviously he is very highly thought of in Japan and Asia…”
  • Mark Viduka on Japanese Coach, Ivica Osim – “I have always admired him as a coach, from when he coached the Yugoslavian national team for the World Cup in Italy (in 1990)…”
  • Ivica Osim on Australia – “You look at the spectrum of the Asian Cup, and of all the teams we could have faced, they are the most difficult…”
  • Yuji Nakazawa on Mark Viduka (who he’ll probably defend) – “He’s big, strong and very mobile and a very difficult player.”

Still, when the opening whistle blows, the gloves will come off. Whoever wins this game will be my pick to take the whole tournament, and I pick Australia to win 3-1.

Some thoughts in the afternoon…

3:15pm (roughly 5 hours ’til kickoff) – This game will be played in Hanoi, Vietnam – rather than in Bangkok Thailand. The difference in the actual physical atmosphere will be quite sizable – far less humidity in Hanoi… which should make for a better game (and I think the Aussie team will cope better with it than they did in Thailand!).

6:40 – The telecast starts at 7 here, with the game kicking off at 7:20 (Japanese time – which is an hour behind Australia – for any Aussie’s watching – or GST +9). Starting to get excited…

Telecast begins!…

7:00 – so the telecast is underway (at this point in time watching NHK – national provider)… we have a heap of suited Japanese guys telling us about the game… not really saying much about the game, just that the Australian team a pretty good, but Japan are in a position to beat ’em. Meh… typical non-committal Japanese stuff.

7:12 – teams about to head out… they announce the refs… Japanese team’s in the tunnel. And both teams take the field.

Japanese anthem… some of the lads sing along. Australian anthem – still, should be Waltzing Matilda. What’s with Mark Viduka’s hair? He looks like Astro Boy!

7:15 – teams warm up…

7:20 – and we’re underway! Australia start with first use of the ball… up and attacking at Japan’s goal. Definitely the more aggressive to start.

7:22 – offside? Huh? Light call that… Japan’s ball in defense. (from here I’ll switch to game-time)

4 min – Japan into attack, but ball easily garnered by the Australian keeper, Schwarzer.

5 min – Aus into attack, get the corner, but ball deflected out.

6 min – Japan press attack, but nothing serious… yet. Nakamura looks dangerous tho’.

[lots of probing… but neither team’s launched … scratch that…]

8 min – BEAUTIFUL cross from Nakamura, and put just wide of the Aussie goal.

11 min – Viduka SHOOTS! …. straight to the keeper Kawaguchi. Japan rebound quickly but Schwarzer’s there.

12 min – Japan gets a corner kick… Australia rebound it out, and now we have a throw-in deep in Aus attack.

[still lots of probing… but Japan look more dangerous]

17 min – Nakamura beats 2 but dives – no foul.

18 min – Japan attack again, but a sloppy cross gets cleared.

19 min – Australian attack – but once again having only ONE striker proves to be an undoing.

21 min – Japan launch an attack, but the end kick was a lame soft one straight into the arms of Schwarzer.

22 min – Viduka threatens, but it’s cleared by a Japanese defender who then lies down on the ground after getting a ball in the boot, holding his foot. THAT’S WHERE THE BALL’S MEANT TO HIT YOU! GET UP!

23 min – Aloisi looks pretty good deep in attack (there you go Sepa)…

25 min – and an Aussie corner goes JUST wide … Viduka well-held there. Quite literally. Japanese player is ALL OVER his jersey… Australia threatening a lot now…

29 min – bloody hell… Nakazawa (same guy who held Viduka) now holds Aloisi deep in attack. Where’s the whistle ref?

[funnily enough, Japan are playing the more physical football thus far… neither team finishing well]

33 min – NO WAY… Nakazawa takes a dive and Aloisi gets a yellow. Gods I hate divers (nods to Italy). Foul count thus far is 0-5 in Japan’s favour.

35 min – beautiful cross, but Viduka slips over and it goes begging. Chance there.

36 min – Nakamura misses, but they get a corner off sloppy keeping from Schwarzer… corner goes short, sloppy defense from Aus but they clear.

[Shunsuke Nakamura REALLY pressuring the Australian D at the moment…]

39 min – foul on Grella (light, guy dived) and Japan get a shot at goal… indirect… straight into the wall, back in and Nakamura puts it WAY over the top of the goals.

41 min – about time – FIRST foul against Japan, not threatening, but Nakazawa’s been holding all night.

44 min – Japan holding the ball up in defense, waiting for the half to end.

45 min – Aus threaten well – and Japan’s under pressure.

46 min (just before) – and that’s the half.

And we’re underway again…

Inside 1 min – Japan threaten – GOOD save from Schwarzer!

3 min – both sides probing again… easy work for both defenses thus far tho’… Japan do look a lil’ more threatening in attack. [the Japanese commentary is kinda funny – EVERY time there’s a free/foul/out ball, they see it in favour of Japan – without fail]

6 min – Bresciano looks dangerous… every time he gets the ball he’s creative.

8 min – every time Viduka’s near the ball, defenders rush him – 4 that time. No chance.

9 min – Japan pressure, Schwarzer’s there. [both teams rebounding from defense pretty well]

11 min – Nakazawa IS playing Mark Viduka pretty well tho’…

12 min – corner to Japan… cleared by Aus. Back into attack from Japan, and a save from Schwarzer who then loses the ball and JUST stops a Japanese goal.

14 min – Japan pressing yet again, but Australia’s too tall in defense. Still putting the Australian D under pressure.

15 min – Viduka OFF – Kewell on… strange sub that… Yes, Kewell’s creative, but Viduka’s been pretty handy. Harry gets a foul pretty quickly (finally the whistle blows against Nakazawa), Japan clear, and a dive is rewared… well, fair call – it was a foul.

17 min – Harry Kewell’s certainly threatening… but nothing serious thus far.

18 min – Kewell’s cross to Bresciano’s a lil’ high, and a chance goes begging – Japan rebound it out of there…

19 min – Kewell dives, and is rightfully given a Yellow. That was bloody awful. Stay on your feet, and MAKE something happen.

20 min – still… the substitution’s looked pretty good… Australia threatening more now.

21 min – Japan attack, and Endo misses the goal by a good 7 meters…

22 min – Japan rush goal, and Schwarzer comes out to make a good save under pressure.

23 min – Australian corner coming up…GOAL!!! ALOISI! (THERE YOU GO SEPA!!!) Fantastic stuff, ball amazingly ran along the face, no one putting it in, no one clearing it, and Aloisi runs in at the rear and slots one home! Australia 1 – Japan 0

25 min – Japan immediately get on the offensive, and poor defense allows Naohiro Takahara to equalize! Australia 1 – Japan 1! [Defender blocked Schwarzer, and then mis-kicked the ball. Paid the price – all the Japanese commentators can talk about is ‘Revenge’]

30 min – you are KIDDING me… looked to be nothing in it (and replay shows that the guy got a touch just below the ear), takes a dive, and Grella is sent off with a red card. God, but diving disgusts me. Guy takes a ride off in a stretcher… well, maybe he IS hurt, but even the slo-mo replay makes it look very, very light. Japan with a 1 man advantage…

32 min – guy’s fine (Naohiro Takahara), and comes back on the ground… after being stretchered off 90 seconds ago. Lame, lame, lame.

[if anyone’s reading this, feel free to make comments!]

35 min – Carney gets done for a simulation. Yellow card. Seconds later Kaji is lying on the ground, either that’s a foul or a simulation… some consistency please.

36 min – Aloisi’s off, Carle’s on.

37 min – Kewell threatens, Nakazawa dives… nothing from the ref.

39 min – Japan in attack… but offside. Australian ball.

[Thanks Jamie]

40 min – Foul on Japan, Kewell to take it in attack… sprays it high & wide over the other side of the goal.

41 min – Japan in attack again, Australia fighting valiantly a man down… but Japan look very, very threatening at the moment.

42 min – Komano shoots at goal, but an easy save to Schwarzer. Ball runs down the other end and new man Nick Carle sprays one well wide.

43 min – foul against Australia, set play for Japan which goes short… still in attack tho’…

44 min – this half’ll be a lil’ longer due to the goals, and red card (include the needless stretcher ride for Takahara)…

45 min – Japan attack again, and spray one wide.

46 min – Kewell sits down, and claims ‘Ouch!’… game back on…

[Jamie – no Cahill as yet… and you can call me Don 😉 ]

47 min – Schwarzer fields off another attack…

And that’s full time… I’d guess we’ll see Cahill…

[Sepa – I think so… this is the first time I’ve watched the Asian Cup seriously, so… not 100% sure – but I think so… nope, looks like extra time]

Ok, I checked – and it’s 2 periods of 15 minutes each way… with 5 minutes between. At the end of that, if no winner’s decided, THEN penalties. So 30 minutes of football with Australia down 10 men to 11.

3 min – neither side looking seriously dangerous… Japan forward more.

4 min – Yellow card on Japan (can’t see which player) but the resulting kick ends up in the capable hands of the keeper, Kawaguchi.

[Loki – the extra man they have IS telling… but Australia are battling hard. Neither team establishing a clear advantage]

7 min – Japan threaten, but offside is blown. [By-the-way, Cahill’s on]

[thanks Champs – will do!]

9 min – Australia in to attack, but the cross is WAY high & goes out.

10 min – rough play, Japan get a free out in front of goal and to the right… dangerous…

11 min – Nakamura takes the kick, BEAUTIFULLY weighted… but good save to Schwarzer.

12 min – Maki off, Sato on.

13 min – GREAT save from Schwarzer in traffic… close one that…

14 min – Kewell attack… forced over the line. Japan rebound in to offence but cleared. Australia back down, throw in to Aus in attack… Cahill header – ball goes over the goal, and we’re at half-of-extra-time.

Aaaand back at it (quickest 5 minutes I’ve EVER experienced!)

1 min – messy defense AGAIN, but Schwarzer’s there to clean up.

[Sepa – you have to make a wordpress account, and edit your profile to do so…]

2 min – EXCELLENT cross from Sato is saved – yet again – by Schwarzer.

3 min – Kewell forced to the very corner, resulting kick saved easily by Kawaguchi.

4 min – Japanese corner… ye gods, but that was close… caromed off Culina’s head to go out, ensuing corner sprayed and cleared by Aus.

5 min – AWESOME soft touch shot at goal by Endo, but fantastic save by Schwarzer.

6 min – Sato has a chance, but sprays it high.

8 min – and Osim looks frustrated (Japanese coach). Japan have had all of the ball this period, but cannot get past Schwarzer… or in some cases get the ball anywhere NEAR the goal.

9 min -wholesale subs by Japan… Yano on, Kengo Nakamura off…

10 min – Kewell just taking the ball down to the corners, and getting the Japanese defense to give up a throw-in or corner…

11 min – Australia in attack, but I get the feeling they’re playing an attacker short… and hoping for penalties.

12 min – Japan back to the attack… but everyone looks tired now.

13 min – Japan offside…

14 min – Japan pressing now… if they don’t score now, their advantage is over.


15 min – great defense… Aus still in it… Foul on Japan.


Down to penalties folks… pressure’s on Kawaguchi & Schwarzer… Schwarzer should certainly be warmed up.

Penalties… fitting way for this to end.

  • So the first will be Australia to kick… Kewell… SAVED by Kawaguchi
  • Japan – Nakamura – GOAL! Jpn 1/Aus 0
  • Neill… ANOTHER SAVE… death knell for Australia there.
  • Another score to Japan…
  • Cahill Scores… Jpn 2 – Aus 1
  • Kono scores for Japan. 3-1 up.
  • Carle scores for Australia. 3-2
  • Takahara… misses! 3-2
  • Carney scores – 3-3…
  • Australia MUST save… Nakazawa goals, and that, is that.

Well, a valiant effort from Japan, but when it comes down to penalties, you gotta put ’em in the back of the net. Guys playing at the level of Kewell & Neill, just shouldn’t be putting them waist high within the keeper’s reach. Surely, the top corners against a keeper barely 181 cms high would be a better option.

Still, Japan win, and on the game I watched tonight, they deserved it more. Thanks for hanging around folks, and to the Aussie guests here tonight, I too wish the result was different…

Thanks all, and I hope to see you around here (at With Malice… ) again.


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46 responses

21 07 2007

hey don!

long time no talk!!!

i came across ur blogg on google looking for live soccer streaming for tonites match…

wot do u mean ur live blogging?

does that mean we can watch the match here?

oxox sepa

21 07 2007

Hey Sepa!!!
Nah… it means I’ll be doing a commentary on it – you know, post a time & make a comment when interesting stuff happens (that’s ‘live blogging’)…
I get the game here in Japan on Free-to-air TV.

21 07 2007



thats too bad. stupid sbs has to show some lame movie instead of the soccer.

now i have no excuse not to study

21 07 2007

well if thats the case. i’ll check out ur blog later on then.

comment on john aloisi (alot)



21 07 2007

Theres been a lot of talk here in Aus regarding the revenge factor of tonights game. The danger for us is going into such a game thinking thats what the opposition is after – that can turn around and take a very large chunk out of your back side. Arnolds going to have to put the blinkers on these boys tonight – its a game about the here and now for both sides, not redemption, thats for the respective publics. If Arnold cant do that then its up to Viduka, problem is, hes got a good brain for football and not much else – not the sharpest tool in the shed. Realistically Japan 2-1, id like the Aussies to pull it out of the fire but i just dont see it happening.

21 07 2007

Reverse here Loki… And I think the drop in humidity (Bangkok’s far more humid this time of the year than Hanoi) favours Australia… time will tell.

21 07 2007

Go the Soccerooooooooooooos 🙂

21 07 2007

Hey Rumi!

21 07 2007

Great calling WithMalice

21 07 2007


i love john aloisi…they better put a clip of that goal on youtube or something!

nooooo…stupid japanese getting a goal….

but with the whole lets fake an injury thing. they did it last time at the world cup too. its sooo embarrassing you’d think they would be able to handle a little bit of pain being that they’ve been playing the game for soo long…idiots….

21 07 2007

WithMalice is Tim Cahill on the field??

21 07 2007

thanks for the blog,
itS killing me though,all the diving.
can`t help but feel they`re biased against aussies in the soccer world.

21 07 2007

Thanks Don.

21 07 2007

im guessing its shoot outs now.

(thats if im reading this properly)

21 07 2007

don, how we looking ?- much run in the legs left with Bressciano and Co or are they just spent?

21 07 2007


yah i asked dad and he said that there should be coz its a quarter final

21 07 2007

extra time?

but if they waste that time it would be shoot outs…right?

how long is extra time?

21 07 2007

what? an extra half an hour?

thats stupid…

hopefully aloisi and cahill will do something interesting now..

21 07 2007

Both keepers great at shoot-outs but i think Schwartzer has the greater nerve of the 2. A LOT of pressure on home keeper if it gets that far. Anyway, lets hope it doesnt get to that either way.

21 07 2007

Grrr.. I hate divers.

Keep up the good commentary, mate!

21 07 2007

this is as close as i can get to the game atm.

so great job don!!!!

21 07 2007


21 07 2007

heya don

how do we put our own picture up next to our name.

21 07 2007

Me too, sepalika… Darn pay tv… :S

Still, this commentary is great, and it allows me to read my book (harry potter 4) at the same time. 🙂

Also, loki, I heard somewhere that Schwartzer really didn’t want it to go to penalties, because he felt underprepaired for them, or something like that. Having said that, and being a fairly ordinary goalie myself, I have full confidence in him!

21 07 2007

lol. yah.

coz im doing hsc my parents wont buy paytv.

silly if u ask me.

hows harry potter 4 going?

enjoying it?

21 07 2007

bout time for cahill to score a couple


21 07 2007

yah but hopefully they can do well at the penalties

21 07 2007

Yeah.. I am actually 4th year uni, but frankly I think payTV is a waste of time… but perhaps that’s because I used to work 4 nights a week, and was only ever actually free 1 night a week, so not much TV at all..

Anyhow, Harry Potter 4 is coming along nicely, currently between the 2nd and 3rd tasks. I’ve read it (i think) twice before… reading the whole series yet again, to read the final book.. hopefully my sister bought it today… 🙂 That and because I am playing through the PC game series, and I finished the 3rd one yesterday afternoon, and I don’t want to be playing the game at the same time as reading the book!

And hurry up and hit the back of the net again aussies!

21 07 2007

Come on Schwartzer, we all love you!

21 07 2007

hmm i guess in your case that seems sensible.

im trying to convince them to at least get the sports one. coz we missed most of the cricket this time around.

yah. im half way through the 6th one at the moment (4th time reading). yah i want to get the book soon, but i doubt it as i have trials in two weeks. ARUGHHH



21 07 2007


21 07 2007

Schwartzer can save too!

no hard feelings, kewell…

good luck with the trials, mate.

21 07 2007

Holy crap!

21 07 2007

c’mon aussies!

21 07 2007

crap we’re gonnnnnneeeeeee

21 07 2007

CHeers don

not looking great now :(((((

21 07 2007

crappppp….. we better get this one right

21 07 2007

how disappointing….

why didnt aloisi have a turn?

21 07 2007

thanx don.

it was good (ur commentary)

have a good night.

xoxox sepa

21 07 2007

Thanks mate, your commentary was awesome.. Pity I couldn’t watch it. Would have been good to see Schwartzer’s saves. I would come and watch the next games, if you were doing them, but seeing as that is our last, it won’t be happening… 😥 But I will probably be around here in times to come.

And thanks sepalika, it’s been fun chatting to you while reading/watching the game… 🙂

If only there was a late night news on tonight so that I could see the highlights… 😦

21 07 2007

Thanks Don. Great calling.

21 07 2007

heya champs

same to you buddy.

i guess will have to wait till tomorow’s news…

im sure someone will have on you tube in a few days

good nite.

xoxo sepa

22 07 2007
Cheap Shots #47: It Took Sports Media This Long To Notice? « Signal to Noise

[…] Don tackles his native Aussies taking on the Japanese in the Asian Cup with a highly detailed live-blog. [With Malice] […]

22 07 2007

I cried in my beer tonight, REVENGE WILL BE HAD!
World Cup 2010 qualification beckons. See you there.
Wearing my green and gold.

22 07 2007
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[…] Japan vs Australia (Asian Cup) – Live Blogging! [image]So, this is the spot it will happen. A little under 10 hours from now, Australia take on Japan… and […] […]

2 06 2008
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[…] Japan vs Australia (Asian Cup) – Liveblogging [July 21, 07] Thus far my only live-blogging experience… So thus far, no-one wants to be the […]

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