Historic rivalry set as Japan heads to North Korea for the first time in 22 years

There are no noisemakers and no one does the wave, yet football fans in North Korea are passionate in their own way about the team that has become a symbol of national pride.That pride will be at stake Tuesday when North Korea faces Japan at Kim Il Sung Stadium in a much-anticipated World Cup qualifier that promises to be about far more than just football.Four of the North Korean players, including star striker Jong Tae Se, were born into ethnic Korean communities in Japan, and bitterness still runs deep over Japan’s 35-year occupation of Korea, which ended in 1945.

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Germany favorite over Japan in quarterfinals

Germany is towering over Japan in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals with a height advantage nearly as big as the home field advantage.The sellout crowd of 26,000 will be cheering for the host team Saturday as the nation has done since the tournament started two weeks ago. And with its penchant for lethal headers, Germany should have a distinct advantage over the much smaller Japanese.The Asian side is renowned for passing combinations and quickness. But when England used a physical game in the last group game, Japan lost 2-0. Germany, too, is expected to step up with bold challenges.

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England beats Japan 2-0 in Women’s World Cup

England turned the threat of first-round elimination into Group B victory with a 2-0 win over Japan to reach the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

After a lackluster first two games, England was spectacular in its decisive game. After 15 minutes, Sophie Bradley sent a deep ball from her half toward Ellen White, who forward spotted goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori off her line. She let the ball bounce once and lobbed it over Kaihori with exquisite precision from 21 meters out.

In the 66th, England came up with a second good goal, when Rachel Unitt shrugged off several Japanese defenders to set up substitute forward Rachel Yankey for a delicate chip and the insurance goal.

Read the rest of the story: England beats Japan 2-0 in Women’s World Cup – World Soccer.

Japan reaches quarterfinals at World Cup

With a perfect two victories out of two matches, Japan has reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup with flair and a tournament-leading six goals so far. England was saved by a fighting performance to earn another day at the tournament.

Homare Sawa got the World Cup’s first hat trick to lead Japan past Mexico 4-0.

For England, gangly midfielder Jill Scott was just as important with a goal and an assist to resurrect England’s campaign with 2-1 win over New Zealand.

It gave Japan 6 points, two more than England, whic

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Japan’s 3D World Cup Soccer Dream Dead- Bid Denied

Earlier this year, we reported on Japan’s plans for a holographic broadcast the 2022 World Cup as part of its bid to hold the soccer tournament. If you were looking forward to this, well, we’re sorry to disappoint: Japan’s World Cup bid was rejected, and along with it went holographic broadcast plans.

For those of you not familiar with the nations proposal, Japan’s 2022 World Cup bid included plans to simultaneously broadcast matches across the world, live, to 400 international stadiums, all in glorious holographic 3D.

The idea was that soccer fans would be able to head to their national stadium to view matches. Once there, fans could watch matches on in front of them live, thanks to holographic images broadcast from thousands of miles away.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Holographic 3D Soccer Dream Denied – popular science – ARN.

World Cup – Japan Misses Victory by Inches

The face of defeat was red, the eyes wet, the gaze downcast. Yuichi Komano made a slow, sad walk through a media gauntlet behind Loftus Versfeld Stadium known as the Mixed Zone.

But there was nothing mixed about his emotions. Komano was distraught, a Blue Samurai too blue to speak, looking as if he’d let a whole nation down.

The Japanese defender’s penalty kick against Paraguay slammed off the crossbar, the only miss in the 2010 World Cup’s first overtime shootout. The South Americans advanced to the quarterfinal, 5-3 on PKs, their Cinderella story intact, while Japan’s wonderful run was halted by mere inches.

Read the rest of the story: Japan gave its nation reason to cheer

Japan ready to stomp Paraguay on way to World Cup Victory

Japan coach Takeshi Okada thinks reaching a first ever World Cup quarterfinal with victory over Paraguay on Tuesday would be an important step in developing football in his country.

“For the football community of Japan, it would be very bright, wonderful news and encouraging if we advanced,” Okada said Monday through a translator. “Japan’s aim of becoming one of the world-class teams would be one step closer if we can qualify for the last eight for the first time.

“The World Cup is a very good measurement to estimate the level of a nation at this time and we’ve come so far, not only to our credit, but to the credit of footballing community of Japan as a whole.”

Read the rest of the story: Paraguay, Japan chase first WCup quarterfinal

World Cup – Takeshi Okada predicts a battle between Denmark and Japan

Japan coach Takeshi Okada has predicted a big, bruising battle against Denmark on Thursday, demanding something special from his players to stay alive in the World Cup.

Japan need only a draw to reach the last 16 as they have a better goal difference than Denmark, although the two sides are level at three points in Group E.

The Netherlands are already assured of advancing having won both matches in the group.

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Yuji Nakazawa on Japan and this year’s World Cup

Rank outsiders to everyone but themselves, Japan should fear no one at this year’s World Cup, captain Yuji Nakazawa said.

The Blue Samurai have never won a World Cup game on foreign soil and face an uphill task in South Africa this June against the Netherlands, Cameroon and Denmark in Group E.

“All those teams are full of dangerous players at big European clubs,” Nakazawa told Reuters. “Basically they will punish you if you make a mistake.

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Sports Illustrated spotlights Japan in World Cup Profiles

Through April, SI.com will profile two World Cup teams a week and are currently focusing on Japan.

Japan’s most recognizable player is Shunsuke Nakamura, the talismanic midfielder who scored 29 goals during a five-year stint with Celtic from 2005-09. A holdover from the 2002 and ’06 World Cup teams, Nakamura is one of the side’s most experienced players — but the 31-year-old is fighting the perception of a superstar on the wane. Despite that, the deadly free-kick taker provides important creative influence on the right flank.

And if Japan might not be your favorite team check out all their profiles.

Read More of this profile: 2010 World Cup profile: Japan