soccer

Okada raises bar after jubilant Japan reaches 2010 World Cup

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JAPANTODAY PLEASE...

It's SAMURAI BLUE.

It's not the Blue Samurai.

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Why do they set these almost impossible targets? Semi-final is going to be a huge call and if they don't make it then will have to come up with more excuses.

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What ever happened to coaches saying "One game at a time?"

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Japan became the first country to join hosts South Africa at soccer’s showcase event after a gutsy 1-0 win away to Uzbekistan...

The Socceroos secured the other berth after they got the point they needed in a 0-0 draw in Doha.

The first country?

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"The firts country?" were my thaughts too. I'm certain other nations have already confirmed their places in the WC finals, France for example qualified a couple of weeks ago....

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‘‘I want the players to show fighting spirit and look to reach the semifinals

Good coach. Ridiculous statement. They will achieve something if they qualify out of the group stages. After that anything can happen. But there is no way Japan are getting to the semi-finals.

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soutyousir - don't let facts get in the way of a good story!

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Japan Today is absolutely correct..Japan was the first country to qualify,doesnt take long to check your facts before making a knuckle head of yourself...

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I like Okada - he's got the team playing like a Japanese team should - but it's never a good idea to go around making statements like that. Getting out the group should be considered an achievement for Japan after the last World Cup.

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In terms of time difference, perhaps so (this knuckle head can't be bothered to check actual times of matches), but in terms of the results for Match Day 8 (6 June, 2009), Japan, Australia and South Korea were the first teams to qualify for the 2010 WC.

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In terms of time difference, perhaps so (this knuckle head can't be bothered to check actual times of matches), but in terms of the results for Match Day 8 (6 June, 2009), Japan, Australia and South Korea were the first teams to qualify for the 2010 WC.

Japan were congratulated by the organising committee of the South Africa World Cup, as the first team to qualify for next year's tournament.

France for example qualified a couple of weeks ago....

Afraid not. Holland were the first European nation to qualify on Saturday.

They probably meant the first Mongoloid country, yellow race country, Asian country, South Asian country, first Japanese speaking country, or whichever other categorization it could defined with.

No, they meant the first country. Despite your list of categories.

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How about a simple statement such as "we will work on a few combinations in the remaining 2 games against Qatar and Australia before totally focusing on winning our first game in the World Cup. As for the semi finals, lets just focus on the task at hand and take each game as it comes....we'll worry about the semis when that bridge comes". Why do Japanese sports teams/coaches put so much pressure on themselves???Usually the media does such a grand job of doing that for them but this time the coach has put the weight of a nations expectations on the players shoulders.....now he has said it anything less will be a failure in the eyes of the fanatical fans.

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Yep, kudos for being the first country to qualify !

But... with a play like that they would go no near even to the top 16. I could barely watch the game. Yes the referees were awful but after all the Japanese players are professionals.

When they could win by 3-4 goals having Okazaki in terrific shape they can not allow to keep one goal advantage like cowards. Okada was laughable too.

I cross fingers for "Samurai blue" but don't expect much at the WC - period!

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"Japan was the first country to qualify"

Is this like when Japan won the first game in the WBC and the media going all hyper saying Japan was the first team to win a game (forgetting to mention it was the first game played). Australia was still ahead in points and guaranteed the spot.

Anyway, good on Japan. I hope they can do well this round and start some shooting.

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This may sound like a daft post but...I havn't really watched the qualifiers much until Saturday, and one thing I noticed a few minutes into the game was that there didn't seem to be any dyed, host club, Johnny's entertainment haircuts out there for Japan like there used to be. I'm wondering if that is just a coincidence or was there a team/management decision to try and present a tougher, harder image? A trivial point I know, but a good change I think.

And it doesn't really matter what is said in the media, as posters above said, the real objective will be to get out of the group and then hope to get lucky.

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I totally missed the game, unfortunately, and I wanted to watch it. Glad Japan got through... too bad for the Uzbeks.

"‘‘I want the players to show fighting spirit and look to reach the semifinals (in South Africa),’’ said the 52-year-old, who lost all three games in his first stint as national team coach at France ‘98."

Jumping the gun a bit, I'd say, but best of luck. At the very least, I hope Japan puts up a good fight and develops a bit of an offense. I love WC, and can't wait for it to start.

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was there a report on their departure from narita on this site? i couldn't see one, but it was humorous to watch it on tv last week: everyone of the players wearing their obligatory face masks (off to dangerous gaikoku, of course), but then taking them off in order to speak to the reporters. bwahaa!

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Okada, if yr going to state you want to make the final 4 why not just go over the top & go for winning the whole thing.......

Now if you said you were shooting to pass the group stage with at least 6 goals scored I wud have said. Decent goal however unlikely.

Jpn is lucky its qualifying region is so weak makes WC qualification a cinch

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I was looking forward to Japan vs Aus but both teams will probably field 11 scarecrows now that there's no incentive to win. Stand by for boredom.

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This may sound like a daft post but...I havn't really watched the qualifiers much until Saturday, and one thing I noticed a few minutes into the game was that there didn't seem to be any dyed, host club, Johnny's entertainment haircuts out there for Japan like there used to be. I'm wondering if that is just a coincidence or was there a team/management decision to try and present a tougher, harder image?

I think Nakamura is setting the standard by going to the barber once every two-months and avoiding shampoo.

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GW: "Okada, if yr going to state you want to make the final 4 why not just go over the top & go for winning the whole thing......."

It's pretty simple, really. The 2002 WC with co-sponsors SKorea, and where that team got, is how high Japan sets the bar. I don't think they actually expect to beat all the other teams an win, they just want to be able to say they got to where their biggest rivals did.

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Good luck to the Kirin Blue Samurai, but I also agree they should just consider getting out of the group stage - like us Aussies did in 2006 - a big achievement. Lets not fool ourselves: teams like the Samurai and Socceroos regard any win at the World Cup Finals as a massive thing.

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Reality check folks, Uzbekistan has a current FIFA ranking of... 78 ! Qatar much worse at 94. This is like the US (FIFA ranking 14), going all ape poo over beating Canada (FIFA ranking 83) ! Show a little humility for cripes sake.

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