Japan has recaptured Asias top position in soccer through a team effort. Players beamed with delight as they hoisted the championship cup. Alberto Zaccheronis side beat Australia 1-0 in the final as Japan clinched the Asian Cup for the first time in two championships in Qatar Saturday night January 29 to win a record fourth title.The victory came as an exhilarating achievement amid a recent series of grim news events. We want to applaud the players for their strenuous efforts and the encouragement they gave us. The final was a thrilling seesaw struggle as the two teams fought scorelessly into extra time. Japan repeatedly fought off Australias offensive, which took advantage of their aerial superiority, through the laborious efforts of goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima and other players. Tadanari Lees volley strike in the second half of extra time, which scored the decisive point, was marvellous. We were amazed to see the stamina of Yuto Nagatomo, who cut through the opponents defence on the left side and kicked a left-wing cross to set the stage for Lees game-winning goal.Zaccheroni praised his team, saying: "Were a great team. I want the Japanese people to be proud of this national team." Everyone must have felt reassured as they saw the players fight on unflinchingly in the face of offense by sturdy opponents.
Read the rest of the story: Asian Cup win reflects evolution in Japan soccer.