Top Sports Stories in Japan… (Sept 13)

13 09 2007

A bit muggy here today…

mirai.jpgToday’s top sports stories in Japan:


Top Sports Stories in Japan… (August 2)

2 08 2007

So damn hot today…Bought a new widescreen TV yesterday, arrives today. Ecstatic.

Today’s top sports headlines in Japan…

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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 27)

27 07 2007

Smokin’ hot Anna OhuraHeating up today…

Today’s sports stories in Japan are:

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Asian Cup – The fall of Japan and South Korea

26 07 2007

Asian Cup 07So I don’t think I could’ve been more incorrect with my predictions on the 2 semi final games. My thoughts vs reality…

  • South Korea vs Iraq – I predicted a 3-2 win to South Korea… 0-0 scoreline, then Iraq winning 4-3 on penalties.
  • Japan vs Saudi Arabia – I stated I felt it would be a 2-1 win to Japan, and they fell short of that, the Saudis winning the game 3-2.

Iraq’s team wept with joy at their first ever trip to the finals of the Asian Cup, coming at the expense of South Korea. The first half saw Iraq with several opportunities squandered in front of goal – captain Younis Mahmoud missing twice, and Karrar Jassim missing a header that was sure to go in… However in the second half, the South Koreans put the pedal to the metal, going after the win, only the work of Iraqi goalkeeper Noor Sabri keeping the Iraq team in the game. South Korea continued to pepper at goal, and Noor was up to the task. At the end of regulation & extra time, Noor was still up to the task, Iraq winning on penalties. Read the rest of this entry »

Asian Cup – Playin’ with the big boys now

24 07 2007

Asian Cup… get that ballSo, I’m back from my lil’ country sojourn, and I’m well due to post some commentary on what’s been going on in the Asian Cup… so here goes!

  • Iraq 2 – Vietnam 0: well, I am not surprised with this result. Iraq have long been a good team in Asian football, and Vietnam are a relative newcomer. 2-0 is an accurate reflection of the distance between the two teams. Still, Vietnam’s had a good tourny, and will improve over the next few years.
  • Iran 0 – Sth Korea 0 (Sth Korea win on penalties 2:4) – again, no surprises. The only shock for me in regards to these teams was how slowly the South Korean boys started. A team with a real chance…
  • Saudi Arabia 2 – Uzbekistan 1: Impressive stuff by the Uzbekis to stay within striking distance of a real powerhouse team in the Saudis.
  • And with Japan’s (hurts me to say this) deserved win over Australia, the semi finals are set.

Semi-finals are on the 25th of July…

  1. South Korea vs Iraq (6:20pm, National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur) – should be a good game, but if the South Korean team can continue their current form, I think they’ll run out winners. Both teams attack well, so I’m predicting a 3-2 scoreline.
  2. Japan vs Saudi Arabia (8:20pm, My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi) – a damn good game here. I think Japan have the goods, but it will be close. The Saudis have flair, but I think the Blue-boys will win 2-1.

That will mean we’ll be faced with a South Korea vs Japan final, and as far as drama… it just doesn’t get any better.

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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 22)

22 07 2007

Surely it’s too hot for a sweater…Hot, hot, hot. STEAMIN’ today!Today’s top sports stories in Japan…

  • Asashoryu & Kotomitsuki share lead going into final days (sumo)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Japan beats Australia on penalties (Asian Cup)… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • Central League continues All Star dominance (NPB All Star game)… [Daily Yomiuri]

Just a note: there’ll be no ‘Top sports stories in Japan’ for the next few days, as I’m taking a small trip… but there will be other stuff from a few guest writers coming in!

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’. Read the rest of this entry »