soccer

UAE eliminates Japan from Asian Cup in penalty shootout; Iraq beats Iran

37 Comments
By KEIRAN SMITH

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37 Comments
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My God... how embarrassing can you get.... The UAE has about as many inhabitants as a village in Hokkaido. And me, the fool, already bet that Japan would loose to Australia, because that would have been the first team that actually plays something that deserves the name Football.

The Japanese people have a strange talent to choose their heroes... In Sumo they love Endo ("The Rock Star of Sumo", whatever that is supposed to mean) and Ichinoyo, who both are clearly not up to it, in Golf there was a young man two years ago, who won one tournament and seems to have made only TV commercials since then... In soccer at least they have very good players like Hasebe, Nakatomo and Okazaki, yet as heroes Kagawa and Honda are chosen. The first has spent a year on the bench at ManU (only 7th of the league then) while Honda has steadily declined and been employed one step down the quality ladder of european leagues every year...

What a fine irony that was exactly those two "superstars" who lost the game in the end.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Sayonara Japan! Sayonara Aguirre! You can have the best midfielders but without a quality striker you'll never be a top team. Japan played poorly on the night but still should've won. UAE weren't afraid, stuck to their game plan and got the upset result. Credit must go to them. As an Aussie, I have mixed feelings. We'll fancy making it to the final now we don't have to play Japan but we'd have liked a chance to revenge the final four years ago when Japan had a couple of shots in 120 minutes and grabbed the 1-0 win. What goes around usually comes around. Anyway, maybe the Blue Samurai and some of their supporters will now show a little less hubris and accept the reality that a strategy of passing teams to death will get you found out in the end. They remind me a bit like Arsenal in that respect.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

You can t win them all,,,,

0 ( +3 / -3 )

DIdn't see that coming, though of course these things always produce a number of 'upsets'. Two wins to PK overtime though... a terrible way to lose. I didn't see Japan losing this one, but what a thrill it must be for the UAE, and for Iraq.

“But we played better football..."

Then why didn't you win?

"We did not enough care at the start of the game which caused us to concede a goal. Then we had to fight for goals.”

How is that playing better football? Aguirre said in other media "we were superior in every aspect" and then went on to talk about how Japan could not score on chances, or this and that -- clearly not superior. I'm glad he could concede that UAE played 'the game of their lives', though, and not just focus on mistakes Japan made, and he also said there were no excuses when the media tried to suggest the players might have been tired after he chose the same line-up four times in succession.

Yesterday morning I had to listen to several Japanese talk about how the final 'would be' (not might be) Japan vs. Australia, with Japan winning. I look forward to seeing them later this afternoon to ask them if they watched the game. How'd Honda, do this match, by the way? haha.

Interesting mix of teams for the semis with the UAE in there.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Well I suppose I'll be shouting for the Koreans now... Don't want the Aussies winning at cricket and rugby and football.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

You could totally say that Japan was going to lose the game, they were running like a headless chicken. UAE deserved to win the game.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Penalty shootout reminds me of former player Hidetoshi Nakata (many years ago) about Honda did not succeed last night. If Nakata succeeded to shoot ball, his team could have gone to the final game.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well I suppose I'll be shouting for the Koreans now

And I'm sure many Japanese supporters will be cheering for Australia if they end up playing South Korea again

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Towards the end of the game they showed that Japan had 21 shots at goal and UAE just 3 yet UAE was winning 1-0. If you didn't know the scoreline you would have thought it was 4-0 Japan. Sorry but Japan deserved to lose that one. They have been desperate for a good striker for so long now that they could have nurtured one from birth. Not sure why Kagawa is still there, the guy couldn't score in a brothel.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not sure why Kagawa is still there, the guy couldn't score in a brothel.

As previously mentioned, he and Honda are Japan's pin-up boys. Yet other players clearly deserve recognition as well. Oh well, I suppose all the convenience store staff won't be forced to wear the country's national colours for a while

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Christopher Glen

I was just thinking the same thing! I'm sure that Japanese convenience store will be thinking their signboard sponsorship at the Asian Cup was a great investment.

That's hubris for you. Japan just had to show up to win. Getting spanked at the World Cup is disappointing but going home early in the Asian Cup is embarrassing. Japan has never had a decent forward, one that is clinical and dangerous. Until they do they'll just keep falling short of their lofty ambitions.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Getting spanked at the World Cup is disappointing

True. Australia did as well, but we faced Chile, Netherlands, and Spain, and at least scored a contender for goal-of-the-tournament.

Japan has never had a decent forward

True again, and they prefer their running-possession game, which the UAE has just undermined.

Until they do they'll just keep falling short of their lofty ambitions.

Yes, as shown when Family Mart makes all their staff - even non-Japanese, wear blue soccer shirts. They could probably come up with a more inspiring chant during games instead of just "nippon........"

Back on topic, kudos to the UAE for their unexpected upset

0 ( +2 / -2 )

UAE were scintillating in the first half. Japan savaged them in the second, with volley after volley at the UAE goal. Shot after shot after shot, but they all went wide until you just had to laugh. What a joke!

UAE's legs were by then long gone, and knowing they were never going to win in this match, they sensibly went for the shootout gamble.

The result wasn't a mistake by Kagawa or by Honda, it was a series of miss shots by the whole damn team, and that includes the goalie Kawashima who just stood there in the shootout like a scared crow.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At halftime, Quieroz needed to be restrained by Iranian team officials, and was led to the dressing rooms before he could confront the referee.

I wonder if he will be fined $5000 too.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I started watching this game at around the 60th minute. Sometimes the old football cliches hit the nail on the head. 'Lack of quality in the final third' or no 'fox in the box' do the job here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They could probably come up with a more inspiring chant during games instead of just "nippon........"

Yep, time to change the record boys and girls. Well, mostly girls judging by the incessant screaming and squeals.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My God... how embarrassing can you get.... The UAE has about as many inhabitants as a village in Hokkaido. And me, the fool, already bet that Japan would loose to Australia, because that would have been the first team that actually plays something that deserves the name Football.

You act like it is the end of the World. Who cares about a tournament with a bunch of teams that will probably not win a World Cup in our lifetime. Mark my words, UAE will probably not make the World Cup and Japan will. Then will see if you are still dwelling about this game.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Christopher: "And I'm sure many Japanese supporters will be cheering for Australia if they end up playing South Korea again"

There is absolutely no doubt about that. Already this morning a fellow soccer fan and I were chatting about the PK matches and he said he is DEFINITELY cheering for Australia to beat South Korea if that is the final -- solely because Japan could not go on and South Korea could. He added that if the next match had been South Korea vs Japan Japan would have won without a doubt, and suddenly this Asian Cup does not mean anything in terms of who is the champions (despite Japan being the 'defending champs' until yesterday). Just look at DaDude: "Mark my words, UAE will probably not make the World Cup and Japan will. Then will see if you are still dwelling about this game."

You see? They were the champions yesterday, but today the Asian Cup doesn't matter. Bring out the platters of sour grapes!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

You see? They were the champions yesterday, but today the Asian Cup doesn't matter. Bring out the platters of sour grapes!

Didn't watch or care about the other Asian Cups either. Nothing from the last Asian Cups resulted in huge World Cup success. But I guess you are a mind reader.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

In the shootout, Honda shot WAYYYY over the crossbar

Was he aiming for the roof of the stand?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@DaDude

Who cares about a tournament with a bunch of teams that will probably not win a World Cup in our lifetime.

Well clearly not you (and who cares?) but plenty do. Tens of thousands have travelled to Australia to support their country and millions have tuned in, not just in Asia but around the world. It may be unlikely that an Asian team will win the World Cup anytime soon but that doesn't mean this Cup isn't prestigious. Just look at the reaction of all four teams yesterday. Both games were dramatic and emotional. The winners were ecstatic and the losers deflated. Kagawa was inconsolable and the Japanese public has been left hugely disappointed.

Didn't watch or care about the other Asian Cups either.

And that matters because?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"Already this morning a fellow soccer fan and I..." LOL you know nothing about the sport! You crawl out of the woodwork whenever Japan lose to crow because you depise a country you choose to live in. Your posts are so uninformed it's obvious you've never watched a match! I doubt you can speak japanese or have any japanese friends either.

Many japanese will support korea just as they did in 2002 when korea progressed further.

Japan tried to walk the ball into the net. Fair play to UAE, they soaked up the pressure well and will give Australia a good game.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Very disappointing to watch, 'all hat and no cattle'. All the foreplay in the world is about as useful as a ashtray on a motor bike, if one can't find the goal. Still Rome wasn't built in a day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the Japanese public has been left hugely disappointed.

OK, go take a survey of the Japanese "public" and see how many were hugely disappointed or even watched the game for that matter.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

OK, go take a survey of the Japanese "public" and see how many were hugely disappointed or even watched the game for that matter.

Bit busy having a cold one right now. I'll just trust you to run out and get that info for me. You sound like you've got the pulse of the nation. Guess it was just a meaningless game that nobody watched or cared about. Good thing nobody saw Kagawa sobbing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

To have two penalty kicks saved during a shootout is one thing, but when the two missed shots aren't even on target (Honda: skyed, Kagawa: woodwork) it's embarrassing, and from the two 'superstars' of the team to boot. Talk about putting on a clinic in choking.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

'OK, go take a survey of the Japanese "public" and see how many were hugely disappointed or even watched the game for that matter.'

I can't give any numbers but I had a quick look at the Japanese papers this morning and watched a bit of news. It seemed to be important enough for them to deal with it quite extensively.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan tried to walk the ball into the net. Fair play to UAE, they soaked up the pressure well and will give Australia a good game.

Yes, I have no doubt about that. May the best team win

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@USN Funny that you were singing Kagawa's praises non-stop when he was a Man U player.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Jimizo

What's your point? Kagawa isn't the same player he was when he was at United or could have been had he stayed and toughed it out (and grown) instead of retreating to Dortmund. I don't see why I wouldn't criticize him now, especially after witnessing a choke like last night's.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Honda pulled a Beckham shooting into outer-space. Kawashima just stood there on the 2nd PK as if he expected the 2nd guy to do a panenka, too. But Japan should have killed the match a long time before that. Can't blame the coach, there's nothing more he could do other than run onto the pitch and tap in a goal himself. People will say he should have rotated more but other than Nagatomo getting injured, Japan were able to sustain their attack the entire match. They just couldn't finish! Maybe they just need to naturalize a Brazilian striker after all?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

DaDude: "Didn't watch or care about the other Asian Cups either. Nothing from the last Asian Cups resulted in huge World Cup success. But I guess you are a mind reader."

Sour grapes, my friend... sour grapes. MANY people cared about and could not stop talking about the Cup and Japan's progress (until now). You're right in a way that they have NOW stopped caring (well, outwardly. Inwardly, like your staccato posts indicate, they are fuming and very upset) and talking about it out of embarrassment over the fuss made about the team and Honda in particular. You seem to be posting an awful lot of "I don't care" remarks for someone who doesn't care.

therougou: "Honda pulled a Beckham shooting into outer-space."

I think 'pulled a Honda' is more accurate, because it seems to be his trademark kick. I've been saying for threads and threads he likes to kick balls into the crowds for the sake of the fans, and when he had a practically open net and the nation was depending on him and all his hype, he did exactly what he very often does. Beckham did it once in a while too, of course, but he did a whole lot more scoring, too. In any case, no one can criticize anyone who from here on in calls it 'pulling a Honda'.

I agree with you that the coach cannot be blamed. None of this was his fault. When asked, the inevitable excuse-seeking questions like, "Were they tired from the lack of rotation?" or what have you to his credit he said there were no excuses. They played well (save at the beginning) and they just lost. I was irritated that the media IMMEDIATELY ran to the Japanese League officials and asked if Aguirre would be canned or not.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Beckham did it once in a while too, of course, but he did a whole lot more scoring, too

Sorry, Honda has already scored 10 more goals for the national team than Beckham, in less games.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

bicultural: "Sorry, Honda has already scored 10 more goals for the national team than Beckham, in less games."

Who said only the national team? besides you, I mean.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@banz

„You can have the best midfielders but without a quality striker you'll never be a top team.“

I hope for your sanity that is meant ironic?

Honda and Kagawa? Very funny… I thought it typical at the end that it was these “best midfielders“ who missed their penalties..

And Okazaki? At the top of the scorerlist at the best league at the moment? But he missed alled those clear chances, I suppose? Name one chance, that your best midfielders actually did set up for him? Kagawa plays for the bottom side in Germany, and he is one of the reasons why, and it took the lousiest of european leagues (at present) to spend any money on Honda…. Watch Honda, when Japan looses the ball, he stands and waits.

But he was great against Palestine, wasn’t he? LOL… try cricket

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

35 shots on goal, wow lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actual coach is horrible. How can you believe in the same starting eleven, who did so poorly in Brazil. Not to mention group stage, why putting strongest players against rivals like Palestine or Jordan, especially while Honda claims that next game is too soon, etc. Yeah, it is, but why he had to play in the first place. Oh, I forgot, Japan is so weak, that without him can't beat even Palestine, how sad it is.

UAE is garbage, one shot one goal against literally dozens of corners and shoots, just bad luck or maybe lack of composure while it came up to put final blow. Japan should have won it 5:1. Anyway Honda's penalty was misunderstanding. He looked like he didn't even want to score, that was the worst PK I ever saw, Kagawa had just back luck, bot Keisuke... what have you done, how much have they payed you, huh?

Another problem is that Japan football is in big crisis. Players like Kagawa are just shadows of themselves, and ironically while players from staring eleven play for rather strong clubs, they just suck as team. No young talents, no perspective for improvement in the next tournament. Can Japan at least prepare decent team for Olympics? Seriously, Chinese is getting stronger, Uzbekistan has great youth, soon Japan would be not even top5 in Asia, which itself is worst continent in football, except Oceania.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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