Author Topic: Japan Profile  (Read 707 times)

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Japan Profile
« on: September 07, 2007, 11:23:49 AM »
China 2007 one to watch: Japan

All eyes will be on celebrity midfielder Homare Sawa: think David Beckham but with a better goal ratio and not a sarong in sight. Despite playing at centre-mid, Sawa scores a goal for Japan in every other game, on average, and brings that little bit of magic to a disciplined side.

Qualification: For the second time in a row, Japan were forced to go the long way round; having buggered up against the Aussies and failed to overcome an excellent Korean side at the AFC championship, they faced a play-off against Mexico. Just about scraped through 3-2 on aggregate.

Tournament calibre: The Japanese have graced every World Cup since it began in 1991 but have never managed better than their quarter-final showing in 1995.

How they play: Remember how the Japanese men played at last year’s World Cup? Beautifully simple passing football; working the ball around their opponents with precision; teamwork personified. The women are the same. The crucial difference between the men and the women is that the ladies don’t lack bite in the final third.

Coach: Hiroshi Ohashi took over in late 2004 and isn’t given to massaging the egos of his star players. “It’s our reserve players who determine the outcome of matches,” he insists.

Odds to win: 41/1

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