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Same old story for beaten Japan

Japan Jun 25, 2014
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What's wrong with Shinji Kagawa?

Japan Jun 23, 2014
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Samurai Blue's selection mistake

Japan Jun 14, 2014
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 By John Duerden
4 days ago

South Korea, Australia and Japan have Asian Cup questions to answer

Japan head coach Javier Aguirre has one eye on the Asia Cup as they prepare for their international friendly against Brazil.

The Asian Cup is less than three months away, but some of the favourites for that tournament are very much in transitional stages. Too much can be read into results and performances, but as time to kickoff ticks down, some of their concerns need to be addressed.

Those issues have more weight on the heels of a World Cup that for Asia was, well, terrible. That tournament will loom large in the collective continental consciousness for years to come. Costa Rica collected more points than the three...

 By John Duerden
Oct 14, 2014

Japan and Aguirre taught tough lessons as Neymar dazzles for Brazil

Japan head coach Javier Aguirre has one eye on the Asia Cup as they prepare for their international friendly against Brazil.
Neymar scored all four of Brazil's goals against Japan.

It was not a great night for Japan in Singapore as Javier Aguirre's side were beaten 4-0 on Tuesday. Below are five things the Asian champions learnt against Neymar and co.

1. Aguirre gambled but was left leaderless

It was hardly a surprise that much of the local media's attention was focused on the five-time world champions and the talented Neymar, who scored all four goals; that's just the way it is. With the concussion suffered by Shinji Kagawa in a 1-0 victory over Jamaica on...

Oct 14, 2014

Three Points: Neymar sensational as Brazil rout Japan in Singapore

Neymar's four goals vs. Japan make him Brazil's fifth-highest scorer of all time.

KALLANG, Singapore -- Brazil came away with a 4-0 victory over Japan, though both sets of players put on a strong audition for their new coaches -- Dunga and Javier Aguirre -- at the Sports Hub in Singapore.

Here are three quick thoughts.

1. He came, he saw, he conquered

In the 88th minute of their World Cup quarterfinal match against Colombia on July 4, 202 million Brazilians held their breath as Neymar collapsed following a challenge from Juan Camilo Zuniga. Three months later, the golden boy...

Sep 23, 2014

Qatar World Cup speculation provides a lot of smoke, but no fire yet

Ever since Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup, hope has remained in some quarters that the tournament would ultimately be taken away from the tiny Middle Eastern country. Allegations of corruption have generated plenty of smoke, as have the appalling working conditions inside the country. Yet there hasn't been any fire, at least by FIFA's narrow definition.

The accumulation of fuel continues, however. The latest addition to the possible pyrotechnics came this week when FIFA Executive...

 By John Duerden
Aug 9, 2014

Japan's new dawn under Aguirre

The former Mexico boss replaces Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, who resigned earlier this month after failing to guide the Blue Samurai into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Brazil.

It is a long flight from Brazil to Japan and that gave the national team plenty of time to contemplate what had gone wrong at the World Cup; to come with myriad dreams, only to return with a solitary point. The warm welcome given by waiting fans at Tokyo's Narita Airport was better than the hail of candy and other insults that met South Korea's squad not that far away in Seoul but still, the players didn't really know to where to look.

Even before Japan arrived in Brazil in June with Keisuke Honda...

 By John Duerden
Jul 1, 2014

10 reasons why Asia failed at the World Cup

Carlos Queiroz left his post as Iran manager following his side's exit in the group stages while other Asian clubs struggled this summer.

A look at why Asia struggled as a whole at this World Cup...

Lack of leadership

When Korean coach Hong Myung-bo went to Netherlands to visit Park Ji-sung in March, he wasn't there to scout potential latter stage opposition but to persuade the PSV Eindhoven man to return from international retirement. "This young team needs a veteran," said Hong. Park's knackered knees knocked that idea on the head but it was clear that Korea missed the experience and leadership of such a star. Japan also didn't...