world cup

Fans relieved Japan advances but tactics disappoint some

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By Chris Gallagher

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"Japan's style of play in the second half was a little disappointing,"

Football is about winning through to next stage, not playing pretty. Some people just dont understand. This was tactic by Nishino-san. Samurai Blue got through. They can show all their skills in the next games. Go Samurai Blue!!

-16 ( +8 / -24 )

Still, the way Japan advanced left a bad taste in the mouth of some supporters, who felt the team had abandoned their Samurai Blue spirit of playing hard until the end no matter what.

As well as they should!

I hope this is not forgotten, but I am sure, like with so many other "bad tastes" that stick in the collective, they are soon forgotten without any lessons being learned!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Football is about winning through to next stage, not playing pretty. Some people just dont understand. This was tactic by Nishino-san. Samurai Blue got through. They can show all their skills in the next games. Go Samurai Blue!!

In too many other posts you have made here, you praise the manner of Japan and it's people.

Now you say it doesn't matter, that only "winning" counts. I hope you know what that means!

12 ( +20 / -8 )

I hope this is not forgotten, but I am sure, like with so many other "bad tastes" that stick in the collective, they are soon forgotten without any lessons being learned!

What's the lesson? It is surely that Japan got through the next round

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@ yubaru - in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho. Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

Iranian and Korean teams can return home with their heads up.

Japanese team, not so much.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

"Iranian and Korean teams can return home with their heads up.

Japanese team, not so much."

Yes then can. And in doing so netted about 10 Million quid from FIFA, as did all those who qualified for the next stage.

You don't think the WC is just for entertainment, do you?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

You don't think the WC is just for entertainment, do you?

It's not even that. It's simply about winning. This kind of situation will happen when you have points based performance, like in figure skating you're not going to see someone try to pull off their best and riskiest moves if they are skating after someone who has achieved a certain score; they are going to go for the moves that strike the best balance between risk and doing enough to win, which is exactly the same thing Japan did here.

Having said that I agree it was a farce in the sense that this situation shouldn't be allowed to happen, but that's not Japan's fault. And how to avoid it, I do not know.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Keep at it Nippon - survive and advance.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@ yubaru - in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho.Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

You are pulling at straws, apples and oranges comparison.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A very poor performance by a team which for long period weren't playing and only making it into the last 16 because Senegal and Japan has less yellow cards so they didn't take their destiny into their own hands. Judging by this impossible to win against Belgium come Monday.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

 in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho. Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

And it's all fair play in Sumo isn't it? Yep, just like in Sumo, Samurai blue has relied on others to win the game.

At best...extremely unsporting

At worst...cheating.

Yeah, I said it!

I was supporting Japan. Not now. Can't condone that type of play.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Fans relieved Japan advances but tactics disappoint some

Dunno if 'disappoint' is the right word. I was barracking for Japan and just didn't understand J tactics in the last 15min, thought it was a massive gamble considering Senegal only needed one goal to qualify & send J home, one goal!

I have no problem with such tactics when your destiny's in your own hands (i.e. the other match is over, other team is losing by 2-3 goals etc); this wasnt the case here and 15 min (plus 3-5min added time) is a long time in football especially as a draw between Colombia & Senegal would have qualified both teams! Again this was a massive gamble by Nishino!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Manner matters! Once again,the japanese team proved to the world how well disciplined people they are over World Cup....Goodluck on your next match...Gambare Nippon!!!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It didn't matter if England won or lost they were still into the last 16 on their own merits. Finishing second was a better result for the fans who now won't need to travel.

Japan handed their destiny over to another game and that was a very bad tactic. The Japanese national soccer team have no connection with PM Abe. When did he last attend a game? Japan go into the last 16 but only on less yellow cards when the cards should have been blue with the team at least holding Poland to a draw.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

wc 2018 = europe vs. latin/south america ( + japan). i had held out hope for senegal, as the last remaining african side. too bad about nigeria as well.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Samurai Blue spirit, indeed!

I have more respect for teams which put up a fight, despite knowing that they have already been eliminated even before the match has started. So, well done to teams like Poland and South Korea.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A win is a win but..... it wasn't sexy, nor inspiring, nor will it set the scene for the next stage. Disjointed , defensive, erratic, sorry blues you just looked out of your league. Really hope you can reassemble the samurai spirit! The whole country needs a hero right now, not another mamorikei. Gambare Nippon!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan's style of play in the second half was a little disappointing

As good an example of the meaning of the word ‘understatement’ as you will ever come across.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What a pathetic sportsmanship and absolutely cowardly way to advance to the 16th round. It says a lot about the "samurai" spirit of the Japanese football team.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The name Samurai blue didn’t suit them in this match! No honor, no skills, no motivation ( scratch that...they had motivation to lose by 1-0 ) and definitely no dignity!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

In too many other posts you have made here, you praise the manner of Japan and it's people.

Now you say it doesn't matter, that only "winning" counts. I hope you know what that means!

Yubaru - it will be back to normal and praising the samurai spirit when Japan lose heavily to Belgium!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan lost more than just its final group stage match against Poland on Friday morning — it lost respect.

https://www.news.com.au/sport/football/world-cup/japan-lost-more-than-just-its-match-against-poland/news-story/73e9f194c34e27f895476893455775be

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You don't think the WC is just for entertainment, do you?

Unfortunately it isn’t, but we should respect those who try to make it entertaining.

Less of the cynical approach would be better all round.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ironically in most Japanese sports being too passive will quickly get you penalties, like in that recent judo tournament where both the finalists were disqualified for playing too defensively.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@mu-da, not just 'respect', it just didn't make much sense. I read a while ago that close to 1/3 of goals are scored in the last 15min, 1/3! Senegal had plenty of time to level the score & send japan packing.

That's why i don't even think it was a 'calculated risk' nor a smart/tactical decision; it was a pretty dumb, desperate & weak move. I'd be filthy with Nishino if i were a massive J football fan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  07:07 am JST

@ yubaru - in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho. Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

Right. So who was it that said this:

June 28  07:14 am JSTPosted in: Germany crash out of World Cup after losing to S Korea 2-0  See in context

Stronger teams like Germany can be beaten by weaker team. So top team Samurai Blue will be caurious not to lose to the bottom Poland team tonight. Japan wants that top place in the Group.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

 in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho. Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

Priceless and typical! Meaning that us foreigners no nothing, only the Japanese REALLY understand. When is the last time you saw sumo wrestlers kicking a ball around in the ring /s? Wrong sport to make a point! To be World Cup Champions you need you win on a consistent basis.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wining and losing is a part of game. There are fans on the both sides, some are happy and some are saddened but the loosing should not give hope and try their best next time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To get to the top, the best teams play harder, overcome adversity and grow stronger with every game. The final 16 is no joke and only the teams that are growing stronger and gaining more confidence in their play will survive. Japan has neither the confidence nor the strength to survive in the knock out stage. They sorely needed the win over Poland to prove to themselves that they belong in the 16. Nishino did a disservice to his players AND the fans by playing the odds instead of playing football. What's he going to do now, play the odds against Belgium? Good luck with that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan advances, not only on their poor performance last night  but because they won against Colombia, drew agains Senegal and had fewer yellow cards. The last 15mins of the game last night wasnt pretty but they did what they had to do, if they can live with that then good luck to them on the next stage.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At least they'll be well-rested.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can see FIFA tightening up the rules in the future, maybe using goal difference in the qualifying rounds as a tie breaker. I do hope so. Japan fans may be content to make excuses for such poor sportsmanship, but the rest of the world is disgusted.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan actually played with their second string team, like England did against Belgium. As much as it hurts your pride, Deal with it anti-Japan users.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Goal difference is used as a decider. But Japan and Senegal finished level on that, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lucky I didn't stay up to watch the second half then. This is not the first time that this kind of thing has happened historically, and several examples were starting to rear their ugly head in the last week or two.

Nishino made a calculated decision based on the way the rules are set up, and told the team in advance to ignore the inevitable booing.

If they are going to award points for 'fair play' then there should be extra for 'dynamic play' too. Conversely as Madden says above, penalties like yellow cards for excessively defensive play could be brought in, just as for wasting time over goal kicks, and slowly leaving the field during substitutions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Soccer should be first and foremost a spectator sport, surely, ie enjoyable to watch.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Goal difference is used as a decider. But Japan and Senegal finished level on that, too.

And the fair play rule was introduced to decide that but, as we have seen, this rule is being abused by teams, so the GD from World Cup qualifiers should be used instead. It would stop teams already qualified for the tournament from sitting back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iranian and Korean teams can return home with their heads up.

Japanese team, not so much.

No, because Japan isn't heading home at all!

Funny how ironic your comment is, considering Japan got through via fair play rule, while Korea angered Mexico (until they helped them advance, of course) for fouling so much. Iran, meanwhile, was roundly criticized for their negative tactics.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan actually played with their second string team, like England did against Belgium. As much as it hurts your pride, Deal with it anti-Japan users.

Mate, most of us on here genuinely love Japan and wanted J to qualify (i certainly did). That's why i/we didnt get Nishino's tactics: first, why pick a second string starting XI for such an important, career-defining, game!? Secondly, once you've done all the hard work (which J did in the first 2 games) & have your destiny in your own hands, just get the job done. If you're lucky enough to have a 1 or 2-goal cushion before the last game there's no need to rely on others to save your a**.

I reckon most ppl would have had no issue with J parking the bus at 0-0 but to do so at 0-1 just didn't and still doesn't make sense. Never seen a team squander a 2-3 goal lead then run out the clock hoping/praying other results would go their way. You either do it before (when you're still ahead/ virtually qualified) or you don't. Nishino's 'plan' is probably the most illogical tactical move i can think of.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

But he will have saved his own neck in the process.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Congratulations on advancing to the knockout stage!" Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a tweet. "You can do it in the next one too, Japan!"

What lose again?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Samit BasuToday  07:18 am JST Iranian and Korean teams can return home with their heads up.

Japanese team, not so much.

Utter tosh, they qualified and they will give it a damn good go against Belgium, the knock out stages are a totally different situation.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sometimes winning a game and losing your dignity and respect from the international community is not worth it.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good to see that Japan is doing more than expectation. Their best performance ever in the World cup. Japanese team has improved a lot.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ganbare Japan!Today 06:53 am JST

Football is about winning through to next stage, not playing pretty. Some people just dont understand. This was tactic by Nishino-san. Samurai Blue got through. They can show all their skills in the next games. Go Samurai Blue!!"

You are kind of like a modern day football equivalent of Tokyo Rose. Belgium will absolutely hammer these guys. Will be happy to hear your reaction then, probably something to the effect that winning isn't everything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

LudditeToday 12:00 pm JST

I can see FIFA tightening up the rules in the future, maybe using goal difference in the qualifying rounds as a tie breaker."

What a dumb idea....somebody who beats Samoa 47-0 would have a huge advantage.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And the fair play rule was introduced to decide that but, as we have seen, this rule is being abused by teams, so the GD from World Cup qualifiers should be used instead. It would stop teams already qualified for the tournament from sitting back.

Extremely dumb idea, the qualifications in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas are vastly different in style, and this system would just favor teams who defeat crappy teams like Timor LEste og San Marino 10-0 in the first round of qualifiers instead of anything else. Yellow cards are at least part of the tournament.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And the fair play rule was introduced to decide that but, as we have seen, this rule is being abused by teams,

I'd like to know how you abuse a fair play rule. By playing really, really fairly? It's the best we've got, and when VAR becomes second nature to players & officials it will dissuade those teams who stifle play through dark arts (I'm looking at Italy, Argentina, Uruguay & Chile to name a few)

I may be over-optimistic on this, but I hope that the days of diving, play acting, cynicism and unsportsmanslike behaviour are numbered.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 yubaru - in Sumo, a fighter does not have to win every fight to win the Basho. Japanese people understand this. Same with Football.

This is football, not sumo, and the rest of the world watched a disgrace of the sport.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Belgium are going to batter them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Netgrump, well said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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