soccer

Japan beats S Korea 3-0 to extend unbeaten run to 13 matches

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I didn't get to watch it. Sounds like Japan played pretty well, is that right? Looks like that trip from Germany wasn't such a waste of time for Mr Kagawa after all...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan looked very good last night. They kept the ball well, and with Kagawa & Honda they always look menacing going forward. They were a lot better than Korea last night, and Japan have a lot be positive about in the near future with young players like Usami, Ryo Miyaichi (who just got work permit approved meaning he can play for Arsenal this year) and Kiyotake, who I thought played very well after coming on, coming through into international football.

All in all a good night's work from Zac & the lads!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, a clean sheet with THREE goals!? That's a blowout for this match-up. Congrats Japan!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Honda actually scored a goal? The announcers' heads must have exploded.

Anyway, good on Japan. Despite Korea missing a few key players Japan has proven once and for all that they lead in Asian soccer. And with a lot of them being 'young blood', as opposed to many of the better Korean players being older, they're going to continue to dominate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan mopped the floor with the Korean squad last night. The Red Devils barely mounted any serious threats offensively. It seemed the ball was with the Samurai strikers for most of the night. Good game for Japan against a solid squad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Samurai did it for Matsuda - he was the 12th man.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If only they could do as well in unfriendlies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This was an incredibly awesome match!!! Kagawa win!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's all good to attribute the win to Matsuda, same as the women's soccer team played for the disaster in Northern japan, but what if Japan had lost? Would you say they lost because of Matsuda? or they lost because he was the twelfth man?

They won because of themselves, plain and simple. The did a good job and played a great game, and they won. Matsuda, RIP, has nothing to do with it, same as he would have had nothing to do with it had Japan lost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is "Zac Japan" the real thing? I was a bit skeptical about Japan's FIFA ranking (16) but they certainly looked good last night. That was the most relaxed I've seen Japan in a game against Korea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

but what if Japan had lost? Would you say they lost because of Matsuda?

Nope, only you are saying it. In the article, it only says that Japanese players were wearing black armbands in memory of Matsuda. I've also read one post above which said, "they did it for Matsuda". There's nowhere in this article, or posts which says they won "because of Matsuda's power". Only you are saying it. I see no problem with athletes remembering their fallen comrades, and even playing the game with his or her memory in their hearts. I've seen this kind of "remembrance" happen everywhere, and in just about every sport. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan won due to a combination of the following.

Korea was missing several of its key European based players due to injury or contract obligations. Japan had a full roster of 13 Europeon based players. Park Ji Sung retired from international competition. Korea had to use reserve players and inexperienced Korea league teens to fill the gaps. There was a match fixing scandal a month ago which saw several Korean veterans being suspended from the game. Korea got a new coach who is incompetent. Japans Europeon based players gained lots of experience in Germany. European clubs are more hesitant to draft Korean players due to mandatory military service. Japan hired a European coach, Korea hired a taxi driver.

If Korea wants to beat Japan again, they should send hand out military exemptions to top prospects and send them to Europe. Fire the Korean head coach and replace him with a proven European coach. Japan still has the same roster as the one that lost to korea 3-1 and 2-0 in 2010 and 2-2 in 2011. Koreas roster is different due to all the absences.

On the bright side, Koreas youth soccer program looks far more promising then Japan who couldnt qualify. They managed to tie power house Spain in the U-20 World Cup and lost to penalties 7-6.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@vg866

You missed out an important factor in your "combination": Japan scored three goals. Korea didn't score any. I'll think you'll find that more relevant than anything else.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan scored those three goals due to the factors I mentioned above. Yes, Japan did very well but its also true that the Korean team was nowhere near full strength.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan scored three goals due to Kagawa who plays in Germany and Honda who plays in Russia. Korea scored 0 goals due her weakened roster.

Korea was missing its top scorers. Son Heung-Min who plays for Hamburg SV in Germany, Chung Yong Lee who plays for the Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League(Great Britain) and Ji Dong-Won who plays for Sunderland in the Premier League.

I'm not saying that the addition of those three would have guaranteed Korean victory but you can't deny that it played a huge part.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

vg866

Put whatever spin you like on it, but the fact is that, at this minute, Japan is superior all over the park. Better goalkeeper, better defence, better midfield and a better attack. They have genuinely top drawer players in Kagawa & Honda - I'm not sure you can say Korea has any players at a similar level.

And you can't use Park retiring as an excuse - you will have to learn to do without him. You say Korea had to use "reserve team players & teens" to fill the squad, but am I right in saying 8 of the line-up played in June's friendly win over Serbia? (Although I think Lee Chung Yong played in those games before breaking his leg whilst training with Bolton Wanderers)

Asian football needs a strong Korea, as it needs a strong Japan & Australia, but at this particular moment Japan has pulled in front of Korea in terms of results, players and playing style.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Put whatever spin you like on it, but the fact is that, at this minute, Japan is superior all over the park. Better goalkeeper, better defence, better midfield and a better attack.

Yes, Japan had the superior team during the match, but as I said earlier, Korea was nowhere near full power. I'm not trying to take away from Japans victory, its clearly deserved. I was just pointing out Koreas situation. The three names I mentioned were offensive players. Korea was missing several key players all across the board while Japan was at nearly full strength.

They have genuinely top drawer players in Kagawa & Honda - I'm not sure you can say Korea has any players at a similar level.

Kagawa is a phenom and very talented, he has a bright future. Honda is nothing special.

And you can't use Park retiring as an excuse - you will have to learn to do without him.

I agree with you on this. But transitioning post Park Ji Sung is a lot harder than you think. Potential replacements are nowhere near his level or too young and just developing. Japan has no one close to Kagawas level right now. If he were to retire right now, it would be a huge blow to Japanese soccer just like what happened to Park.

You say Korea had to use "reserve team players & teens" to fill the squad, but am I right in saying 8 of the line-up played in June's friendly win over Serbia? (Although I think Lee Chung Yong played in those games before breaking his leg whilst training with Bolton Wanderers)

Lets not delve into the Serbia match, it has no bearing with this match.

Asian football needs a strong Korea, as it needs a strong Japan & Australia, but at this particular moment Japan has pulled in front of Korea in terms of results, players and playing style.

I stated that Japan pulled ahead of Korea in this match due to several factors. You can't deny that Korea lacking several key Europe based players(especially offense), a match fixing scandal and suspended several players and demoralized others, an incompetent and inexperienced coach and other factors all played in Japans favor.

Is it so hard for you to agree that Korea was at a severe disadvantage during the match? I'm not saying Japan didn't play well or that Japan wasn't the better team that day.

The team that Zaccheroni led in this match is nearly the exact same team that Okada led 1 year ago. Okada lost both his matches to Korea 3:1 and 2:0. In 2010 Korea was at full strength during those 2 matches and was managed by Huh rather than the incompetent Cho Kwang-Rae. What Korea needs is a Europeon coach.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ha, let the excuses begin.

The team that Zaccheroni led in this match is nearly the exact same team that Okada led 1 year ago.

Uh, no. Look at the defenders for one thing. No more Tulio, no more Nakazawa. Did Kiyotake, who had 2 assists, play for the national squad last year? No, this was his first game. Japan kept subbing and changing players throughout the game, including Endo their captain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese were playing with their hearth and soul, and looked very motivated, while Koreans looked like they had no will to play from the very beginning. Just strolling around. After the first 10 min I thought that if they lose with 1 or 2 goals , they're very lucky. Besides, Zaccheroni's strategy is absolute pleasure too watch. The players moved like on a chess game board, with brilliant combinations all the time. I won't forget the first goal by Kagawa-it came as a result of such increadible combination. Koreans were totally bewildered. Seriously, they need to change their head coach. The only annoying thing about the whole game was theJapanese anthem in the beginning, sang by some host-looking guy with very limited vocal range.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

vg866 - I know how frustrating it is to not have your team at full strength, but you seem to be conveniently failing to mention that Korea still had 6 players from Europe, including star members of the national team like Park Chu Young, Koo Ja Cheol and Ki Sung Yeung (my apologies if I didn't spell the names correctly), not to mention a number of players playing in leagues outside of the K-League (5 players who have chosen to play in the J-League, and another player who plays in Qatar). Japan was also missing Nagatomo who plays for Inter Milan, and they still haven't even called up youngsters like Usami (Bayern Munich) and Miyaichi (Arsenal).

I completely agree that the loss of Park Ji Sung is huge, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Japan lost Nakata to retirement when he was still in his 20's, but nobody was sympathetic towards the Japanese team when they struggled after losing him. It may take a bit of time, but Korea will be strong again in a couple of years.

bicultural - They're not only missing Nakazawa and Tulio, but Kagawa wasn't a regular member for Okada either (although he really should have been). I think if you look at the starting members for Okada's World Cup squad and Zaccheroni's starting lineup yesterday, only 5 out of the 11 remain the same.

smithinjapan - What's with the Honda bashing? He's playing very well in Russia this year with six goals. He may not be the quickest of players or the flashiest with his footwork, but he's ridiculously strong on the ball and he does very well to keep possession and allow other players to make their runs into space. He's an extremely important part of the national team, as well as CSKA Moscow.

Anyways, I think Japan was still a little sloppy with their short passing game at times (although they were fantastic for most of the game), and their defending wasn't great (granted it was after scoring their 3rd goal), so there's still room for improvement. Looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers next month!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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