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…

Preview…

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 »





Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 21)

21 07 2007

Fluffy!Sumo was fun yesterday… an article early next week on it.

Today’s news in Japanese sports…

  • Hakuho loses, Asa & Koto win – remain tied for top… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • Osim sings Australian Grace (Asian Cup)… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • CL defeat PL on sayonara HR (NPB All-Star game)… [Japan Times]

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Australia vs Japan Showdown – (AFC Asian Cup) Live Blogging

20 07 2007

Asian Cup… ouch.

So, Saturday night (in Japan) at 7:20pm, Australia play Japan in the Asian Cup Quarter-finals. I’m an Australian living in Japan (my wife’s Japanese – my bub’s half of each!), so I am going to live-blog the game. Should be a ripper of a game – Japan have played well thus far, and Australia are coming good…
So stay tuned, and see what happens.

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Discord downunder: The Cup, the Coach, and the Socceroos

20 07 2007

We worship football…So despite the Australian team making the Quarter-finals, there have been major problems (understatement) with them this Asian Cup. Head Coach Graham Arnold refusing to back down on his commentary that some players did not come to play, and a lot of pundits have declared that the players should be showing him (Arnold) more respect.

It’s all well & good to state that “players should respect the manager”… but the simple fact is that we have players who are playing at pretty much the highest level, then you’re going to be dealing with egos. To make it at that level there has to be a degree of self-belief that is bordering on egotistical.

Add to that mix a coach who hasn’t even enjoyed success as a coach at ANY level, then throw in a lack of success… and that’s one hell of a volatile concoction.
So… am I surprised that we’re currently sucking? No… and I wasn’t alone in decrying the appointment of Arnold as coach way-back-when. Read the rest of this entry »





Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 20)

20 07 2007

NorikaCooler day today, off to the Sumo this afternoon.

Today’s top headlines in sports (in Japan)…

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AFC Asian Cup – last of the rounds. Next, quarters…

19 07 2007

Asian Cup 07So the last games of the regular rounds were played last night (sorry about no updates – I was at the baseball). Here are the results:

  • China were beaten by Uzbekistan, 3-0. This loss eliminates China.
  • Saudi Arabia beat Bahrain, 4-0.
  • South Korea beat Indonesia 1-0. This win, and Bahrain’s loss, eliminates Bahrain, and South Korea squeeze through!
  • Iran beat Malaysia 2-0. Malaysia immediately sack their coach, Norizan Bakar.

So, the teams that qualify for the Quarter finals are set. They are as follows:

  • From Pool A, Iraq & Australia
  • From Pool B, Japan & Vietnam
  • From Pool C, Iran & Uzbekistan
  • From Pool D, Saudi Arabia & South Korea

AFC Asian Cup 2007This means the quarters shape up as:

  1. Iraq vs Vietnam (21/7/07, 20:20 at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok)
  2. Iran vs South Korea (22/7/07, 18:20 at National Stadium Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur)
  3. Japan vs Australia (21/7/07, 17:20 at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi)
  4. Saudi Arabia vs Uzbekistan (22/7/07, 20:20 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta)

Some fantastic matches coming up… (all matches given in local times)

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Top Sports Stories in Japan… (July 17)

17 07 2007

Summer’s here… time for baseballNice weather today… lil’ cooler.

Anyway, top stories in Japan today – sports!

  • Nagoya Sumo – Hakuho & Kotomitsuki still winning [editor’s note: going to this on Friday, so hopefully pictures & a story!]… [Mainichi Shimbun]
  • Asian Cup – clash with Australia imminent!… [Daily Yomiuri]
  • Giants win(NPB) [Daily Yomiuri]

And off to the baseball (NPB – Chunichi Dragons vs Yakult Swallows) on Wednesday evening… hopefully photos/story on Thursday!

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