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Japan beats Uzbekistan to clinch World Cup berth

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Who was the referee? Some really bad calls/missed calls. Seemed to do his best to help Uzbekistan. The game was OK. Again, Okazaki was great. Was Okubo really offsides on the goal he scored off the crossbar rebound?

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Great game! Darvish just had one bad inning. Oh sorry. That was the baseball game that most of Japan was interested in.

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Congrats to Samurai Blue!

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Congratulations to the boys in blue (although white this time). They played well, and especially impressive since the Uzbekistan team had 12 members.... 11 players plus the ref.

One of the most blatant cases of biased refereeing I have ever seen.

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Good for Japan. But, could all the J-fans in the bars possibly learn some new cheers other than "Nippon, bang-bang-bang, Nippon, bang-bang-bang, Nippon..." ad nauseaum, before the 2010 tournament? It makes watching the games almost unbearable.

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Talk about qualifying with ease with 2 matches to spare, the difficult part will be making it through the group stage SA. the Asian qualifier is really a joke and don't really merit 5 slots judging from the performance of the teams from Asia in WC proper.

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Quite an impressive performance from Japan, considering the absolutely diabolical refereeing lat night. That ref was definitely influenced by something and it shows how poor Uzbekistan are not to win even with the ref blatantly on their side. Okubo's goal was not offside, as he was in an onside position when the free kick was taken. Although the red card for Hasebe was justified. The ref even had this sneaky wise-guy grin every time he gave a dodgy decision to the Uzbeks. This is another sign that the next World Cup in South Africa will yet again be ruined by the quota of referees from Asia and Africa who are just no good. It's about time that referees are appointed because of their ability and honesty, not because of where they are from.

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Didn't watch it, but congratulations. However, enjoy it while you can. I find it ironic that one of the first teams to go through to the WC is mostly like going to be one of the first to leave in the first round of the WC. 4.5 Asian teams in the WC is too many, looking at the standard of Asian football.

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NorthLondon, I guess the English referee Poll who booked a player three times before sending him off in the Australia- croatia match in the last world cup was from Asia or Africa. That stereotype thinking that good referees can't come put of lesser soccer playing nations is like saying a good player cannot come out of it. There is no basis for such naive thinking. I guess the nation that started soccer not winning anything since 1966 that is before you were born is due to poor refereeing decisions.

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Crucifier, did you watch the game last night ? Almost certainly not. Because if you saw the totally inept non-performance from whoever that ref was, you would have agreed with the rest of us on this discussion instead of some anti-English rant. And at which point did I state that English referees are better ? Nowhere. We have some of the biggest idiots refereeing the Premier League. I said that World Cup referees should be selected by ability and performance, not by some stupid continent quota system. And I'll say it again, referees from Asia and Africa are not near the quality and experience of referees who come out of Europe. And last night's match helped to confirm that.

not winning anything since 1966 that is before you were born is due to poor refereeing decisions.

Who said that England had not won the World Cup because of bad referees ? Some real anti-English paranoia I believe. And I was born in 1963, which makes you wrong on yet another count. Try again.

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That stereotype thinking that good referees can't come put of lesser soccer playing nations is like saying a good player cannot come out of it. There is no basis for such naive thinking.

So name me one good referee who has not come from Europe, South America or Japan ? And I won't stay up tonight waiting for your answer by the way. You answered your own statement. 'Lesser football playing nations'. If a referee is working in a lesser football playing nation, then he will not be gaining good enough experience for the highest-pressure soccer tournament in the world. A talented player can come from anywhere in the world, including Africa and Asia. But he will hone his skills and gain his experience playing for a European or a South American club. Referees do not have that option. Your thinking appears to be naive.

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"a gritty 1-0 win"

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

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Well done and congrats to Aussies and Southkorea, too... Now i'm waiting for Northkorea to join WC, this will be somehow interesting...

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Well done to Japan! They played well.

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Well done to the mighty boys in Green and Gold! C'mon Aussies, lets beat the Blue Samurai next week!

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The Japanese team is gaining confidence and I think the result will be a draw.

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