Japan Set Sights on More Golden Glory at the 2012 London Olympics

Japan’s women footballers kick off their quest for a rare double on Wednesday as the first action of the 2012 London Olympics gets under way.

The Asian giants upset the established order of women’s football last year after stunning the heavily favoured USA to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Germany on penalties.

The Nadeshiko are now attempting to become only the second side in history to hold the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women’s Olympic Football Tournament gold medal at the same time in London.

But Japan, who face Canada in Coventry in their opening Group F game, will be desperate to make a winning start after a troubled build-up which has included defeats to France and the United States

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Japan Ready for the Big Match vs. USA in the Women’s World Cup Final

Japan is gearing up for its first Women’s World Cup final as the national team gets ready to face the US with the hopes of a subdued nation on its shoulders.

Although kick off for Sunday night’s final in Germany will be 3:45 a.m. local time, Monday is a national holiday in Japan so bars and restaurants across the country are staying open to show the game live.

Grateful for some good news after slow months of painful recovery from the March mega-quake and tsunami – not to mention the ongoing nuclear crisis and political deadlock – the women’s team unexpected run to the final has lifted morale in Japan.

Read the rest of the story: Women’s World Cup final: A proud Japan braces for big match vs. USA.

5 Things to Watch for in USA vs. Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final

The womens World Cup title game, between the U.S. and Japan, in Frankfurt, kicks off at 2:45 Eastern time today. Here are five things to watch for in of the most highly anticipated games in U.S. soccer history.1. Can the U.S. Play the Possession Game?U.S. coach Pia Sundhage has indicated that the U.S. will try to play possession soccer against Japan. That means the team will look to control the ball and show off their technical soccer skills – short passing, movement – rather than try to just outrun the defense with long passes downfield. Another benefit of playing possession: the more time you spend chipping the ball to one another, the less time you spend chasing the offensive team all over the field, tiring yourself out.

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Japan’s feverish bid for upcoming World Cup

Just a week after the din of celebratory vuvuzela horns died down in South Africa, fresh World Cup fever is gripping nine candidates battling to host the showpiece in 2018 or 2022.

The sport’s world governing body FIFA on Monday kicks off a two-month inspection tour of Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Netherlands-Belgium, Russia, England, Spain-Portugal, the United States and Qatar in that order.

The first stop, Japan, is counting on its impressive organizational, financial and technological power to win the 2022 event. It co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea after staging one summer and two winter Olympics.

Japan has promised to treat football fans worldwide to ultra-realistic live three-dimensional broadcasts of matches.

Read the rest of the story: Japan first up as FIFA inspects World Cup hopefuls