Tag Archives: World Soccer

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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Japan beats NKorea for Asian Games football gold – World Soccer

Japan won its first Asian Games women’s football gold medal by beating the defending champion North Koreans 1-0 on Monday in a fiercely contested final.

After a scoreless first half, defender Azusa Iwashimizu broke through with her historic header in the 74th minute, helping her jubilant team claim the Asian Games title.

The disciplined and experienced Japanese, led by U.S.-based midfielders Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama, managed to keep the determined North Koreans from scoring the rest of the game.

The win was retribution for Japan’s 2006 loss to the top-seeded North Koreans in a penalty shootout at the last Asian Games in Doha.

“Four years ago we lost to North Korea in the final. Now we are here, we are four years older and we have a better mentality that helped us win,” Japan captain Aya Miyama said. “As I was listening to our national anthem from the podium, I was more calmed than excited.”

The North Koreans blamed fatigue after a difficult, 2-1 extra time win over South Korea in the semifinals.

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