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Japan FA backs Vahid Halilhodzic after slow start in World Cup qualifiers

Vahid Halilhodzic's tenure as Japan boss has begun with three draws and a loss.

Despite a disappointing start to his tenure as Japan coach, Vahid Halilhodzic has been told by the Japan football association that his job is not under threat ahead of Thursday's World Cup qualifier against Cambodia.

The Bosnian's first competitive match in charge of the Japan resulted in a disappointing goalless draw at home to Singapore in June and was followed by a last-place finish in the four-nation East Asian Cup in August. Japan's display with just two points from three games against bitter...

Izwan brushes aside superb Japanese WCQ performance to focus on Syria

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Alistair Edwards preview AFC World Cup qualifying action involving Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

Refusing to dwell on his heroics against Japan, Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud has urged his teammates to focus on Thursday's AFC World Cup qualifier against Syria.

The Lions are top of Group E after beating Cambodia 4-0 in their opener before Izwan's 18 saves in Saitama helped them earn a point in a goalless draw against Japan.

With four points in the bag, the Southeast Asian giants will take on Syria on neutral ground in Muscat, Oman, knowing that a positive result will keep them top of the...

 By John Duerden

For China and North Korea, the East Asian Cup can be a confidence builder

China are the hosts for the East Asian Cup and are seeking their their third title.

The East Asian Cup is an unusual tournament.

The trophy itself doesn't really matter; few fans would be able to describe what it looks like much less name the nations to have lifted it since it came into existence in 2003 (China and South Korea have won it twice and Japan have one win).

Yet, lose the three games against close, in all senses of the word, rivals and coaches may find that their positions are not as secure as they think. And if you asked fans in South Korea, Japan, China and North Korea...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

'North Korea's Wayne Rooney' Jong Tae-Se joins Japan's Shimizu S-Pulse

Jong Tae-Se returns to Japan after a prolific spell with Kawasaki Frontale between 2006 and 2010.

North Korea striker Jong Tae-Se -- dubbed "the People's Wayne Rooney" -- has signed for Japan's Shimizu S-Pulse.

Jong, 31, who was born in Nagoya, Japan to Korean parents and holds a North Korean passport, completed a move from South Korea's Suwon Bluewings to the J-League side.

"I would like to dedicate myself from here on to Shimizu S-Pulse," Jong said following the transfer. "I will sacrifice myself and advance as one with the team.

"I want to carve the words 'history' and 'honour' into my heart...