world cup

Cote d'Ivoire scores 2 goals in 2 minutes to beat Japan 2-1

60 Comments
By BRETT MARTEL

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60 Comments
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Poor defenders and very poor performance after scoring first goal. I can't see Japan in another round.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Wow. Great match.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Welcome to reality Japan

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Score line could (should?) have been much worse for Japan... Time and time again they were opened up with play straight down the middle - no depth at all. Is it time for Zaccheroni to go? Didn't show any passion when Japan scored, had the tactics all wrong, and hasn't bothered to even try and learn the lingo!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lack of ball control combined with Ivory Coast's physical size made the difference.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hubris at early success, followed by resignation when the competition ups their game. How often have we seen this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan just can't play two halves. They loose concentration.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan seemed to be underdog until Honda scored the first shoot.Even though his shoot made team's ambition good, Japan's performance didn't cut it. Japan was close but no cigar. Too bad! It just proves that anything can happen in sports.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm so tired of hearing how 'black people are strong' or, 'black people are tall' as the reason why the Ivory Coast could (and now did) win. They absolutely dominated the entire game with their ball-play, and save for the rather weak time-wasting efforts with 'injuries' in overtime completely deserved to win. Honda made an excellent goal (I'm not afraid to eat my words!), but it was a fluke he got the ball. The Cote D'Ivoir goals, on the other hand, were done with genius and precision passing. For the rest of the game, and particularly the second half, it looked like Honda and Okazaki were actually playing for the other team with the amount of times they passed off the ball to them.

That said, a decent game, overall. A bit slow in the middle until Cote D'Ivoire scored the first goal, but after that it became pretty intense. On the plus front, I won't have to hear about this game all week. Cote D'Ivoire deserved to win, but I doubt we're going to hear that from too many.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Bad defense but also they rely to much on Honda, he scored alright but he also made so many mistakes, the ball had to go through his feet all the time and he couldn't deliver the last pass so many times. That celebration reminded me of 1994 Maradona ha. Zakku didn't dare to change him and took Kagawa instead, Yamaguchi also showed that he can't handle that position.

People should realize that some of their players are sooo overrated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan can have few complaints. Ivory Coast were the better side, played with more imagination and were more positive. 2-1 flattered Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Exactly they always have the excuse that the others are taller, faster, stronger or even the weather or that they are playing away, so when they win it's because they could overcome aaaaaaaall that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smithinjapan, Japan is the second shortest team in the tournament, after Chile. The Japanese are barely 5'10, and it showed when the Africans won all the balls in the air, including those two goals. It's alright to be short, as long as you're athletic and powerful. But none of the Japanese players are.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Drogba's introduction was the catalyst.He lifted the fans,teammates and energy. Honda aside from his goal,particularly in the 2nd half was a disaster to quote Sir Alan.How many times did he give the ball away? Japan's 2nd half falling apart was so similiar's to England's.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They can say whatever they want and find excuses, Cote D'Ivoire won and it feels soooooooooooooo good. I wish I had an orange jersey. Vive les Elephants!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Papi2013: "smithinjapan, Japan is the second shortest team in the tournament, after Chile."

Let the excuses begin! If there's a height requirement for soccer, keep them out. If they'd won people who talk about the height differences would be bragging, not complaining. It's not about height, it's about skill, and Japan was outmatched. They couldn't pass well, they couldn't play the long ball, and they couldn't get many scoring chances in. Cote D'Ivoire, irrelevant of height, passed the ball around extremely well, and ran extremely fast. Japan was depending on people it made into heroes without it being deserved, and now you have the results, and the excuses. Let me guess, it was also too humid, too rainy, Japan was not used to the new ball (and all other excuses that both teams would experience). Face it, they were beaten fair and square. Those two goals in as many minutes were pure class, and credit to Kawashima for making a couple of good stops for some other great shots. Japan didn't even have a shot until Honda's goal, and only a couple others throughout the game.

-1 ( +6 / -8 )

Hyping up the team before the match and then grumbling about height after losing seems a bit like sour grapes.

5 ( +8 / -4 )

Feeling Blue (Samurai), peaceful week ahead, not many plays-replays on tv.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

Mr. Holly and I were upset when Japan scored the first goal. Why? Because we knew that we would see Honda's goal on every news channel, on every news program, and see Honda on every sports panel for the next week and a half. Thankfully, the Ivory Coast played better ball and have shut up the mass media for a week or two. I love where I live, and support Japan time to time (Tohoku earthquake), but when it comes to the media, we support any team but Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kawashima is no good. 2nd goal near post should save. Almost japanese thought Japan will lose this game. Only media say propaganda about samurai spirit and so on

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ka_chan: "They loose concentration."

They LOSE concentration, actually, but that's no excuse.

ProudJapanese: "Kawashima is no good. 2nd goal near post should save. Almost japanese thought Japan will lose this game. Only media say propaganda about samurai spirit and so on"

Agree with you on the media hype, but let's not forget, it was Honda that said Japan could win the whole thing this time around. Don't just blame the media and Kawashima, but instead just try to realize that Cote D'Ivoire played a better game. Don't blame the coach, don't blame the weather, and don't blame the height of the players or say they were jet-lagged or what have you. Kawashima did rather well, I'd say, or else it would have been 4-1.

Seriously, just admit Japan is not up to par. The commentators were not as annoying as usual during this match, but towards the end the one in particular got to the usual excuses.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Maybe it's a good way of thinking. When we beat physically superior opponents, it's because of superior technique, and when we lose, it's because they are physically superior. Japan isn't alone in this type of thinking. Some English people like to blame our lack of a Christmas break for our international failures with our boys too tired to perform after a long season. The real reason is not so cheery in both cases - they are not bloody good enough.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

PLEASE, PLEASE JAPAN TODAY

Could you NOT post the soccer results? I don't want to know the result before I see the match.

Otherwise I'll have no alternative to stop reading Japan Today until the soccer is over.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Highlighting the oppositions strengths is hardly making excuses. Cote d'Ivoire are well know for their height, strength and speed, and any other team playing them would be aware of this.

The thing is Cote d'Ivoire were not that good tonight, but Japan were just very poor. Japan are usually very good at possession football, but tonight they lost possession too easily and it put enormous pressure on their defence. Both goals came from misplaced passes leaving Cote d'Ivoire's right back in metres of space to whip in the crosses.

Anyway, well done to Cote d'Ivoire. This result should ensure that they get out of the group stage, which they have not been able to do in the last two World Cups.

Japan have to beat Greece, or it will be a very poor World Cup campaign.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great game, three cracking goals! Didier Drogba coming on completely changed the game - the Ivorians suddenly had the confidence. What Japan would give for a Drogba in their team!

Looks like the Samurai need a result against Columbia now - not impossible but they've made life very tough for themselves ...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Berie: I've found it's hard to look at the internet (esp. Yahoo) during this time, as real-time updates are rampant. I've changed my homepage to google for the time being. But agree with you and JT's headline news...I come across a final score before I've had a chance to see the game on TV. Put the scores in a world cup tab for those that want to see the day's results, or leave them out of headline news. And what's with NHK sending off 'earthquake warning-like" messages for trivial news. Like AKB members being attacked at a handshake session or Japan losing to the Ivory Coast. Save those for real warnings.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@smithinjapan

I'm so tired of hearing how 'black people are strong' or, 'black people are tall' as the reason why the Ivory Coast could (and now did) win.

Where have you heard this so many times already that you are "so tired" of it? I never heard those assertions mentioned once on the NHK commentary. I don't think the Japanese are looking for "excuses" either, but just like any other losing country, some commentators are looking for valid tactical reasons for their defeat. It kind of seems you're ranting with yourself rather than reflecting about what the Japanese are actually saying about this game.

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

It's only the first game and there's still hope for Japan but some of the hype beforehand was bordering on arrogant. Japan has some high quality players but this is the World Cup and no games are easy. If Japan doesn't progress beyond the group stage maybe they'll learn that next time cautious optimism is a better approach.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan ALWAYS chokes at the end, the same thing happen when they played Australia and lost 3-1 with the last goals scored in the final minutes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Jimizo: " Japan isn't alone in this type of thinking."

That's the problem; so many people here would rather make excuses as to why Japan lost than address the superiority of the other team. Japan was outmatched, and they should just say it. Forget all this "They are taller than us" crap.

zootmoney: "Where have you heard this so many times already that you are "so tired" of it? I never heard those assertions mentioned once on the NHK commentary."

Ummm... in the media, and in the game. Look even at some of the comments on this thread pointing out height differentials (aside from my counters). There was a TV program last week about the teams facing Japan in the first stage, and while I give them credit for educating the masses on location, culture, and what not, I had a friend who watched it saying "Cote D'Ivoire are like black Japanese!" (she meant to imply they work hard, but obviously the offensiveness of it was clearly written on my face). Plenty of other examples, less racist, through the game, and to suggest it's searching for reasons as to why Japan lost instead of admitting the other nation was better is just more of the same. So, what was it then? the coach? the newer ball? the rain? the humidity? jet-lag? Height of the other players? Africa is getting better at soccer? Come on... Japan was just over confident and out of its league. Now they know it, that usually tends to help them.

"It kind of seems you're ranting with yourself rather than reflecting about what the Japanese are actually saying about this game."

Nope. Ranting, yes. With myself, no. With people making excuses as well as the media, yes.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The match was televised live and we posted the story after the game had finished. Nothing wrong with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is Cote d'Ivoire sa,e as Ivory Coast? I have never heard that nation have been in world cup. If it is true, I salute to their amazing performance.

If Japan can not beat that tiny one, how on earth they will go through next level of competition?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

LHOmmeQuiMent: " Intense activity during the first half might have triggered the symptoms in the second half."

Jesus... now we're blaming Graves disease? Are you going to credit the disease to his goal in the first half?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Making excuses just highlights your weakness and the fact that you lost. If Japan had one, you could bet your last yen that the commentators would be using those very same physical traits of the côte d'ivoire players and other lame excuses as a means to point out the Samurai Blue's superiority.

Someone had to stick a pin in the bubble. I'm happy that côte d'ivoire did it twice in two minutes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well done Cote D'Ivoire. Hard to defend against those 2 goals. Bad luck Japan. I hope they bounce back. Honda's goal was great. There seems to be some angst towards Japan here ...???

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, no more Japan-bashing please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope everyone has a great time watching the games!

Remember, la Copa Mundial de Fútbol is all about friendship and sportsmanship and may the best team win!

Good for Cote d’Ivoire, the Japanese team listened too much to the hype and allowed their over confidence defeat them. The Cote d’Ivoire played a darned good game and won it on the field. Over confidence always defeats every team no matter how good they maybe!

smithinjapanJun. 15, 2014 - 01:49PM JST

This is the world cup, have fun for a while. There was only one person who brought race, creed or color into this discussion and that person's name was Smith. Everyone else only stated the obvious,

Japan is a small team and needs to play like a small team. If they try and play the game like a bunch of giants they will lose.

Japan blew it because they thought too highly of themselves.

Smith, put your disdain aside for a while and let's have fun!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@zootmoney

I saw several times during the days preceding the match in NHK that they were displaying the average size of the team players between Cote D'Ivoire and Japan, several times mentioning the size as a winning factor against Japan.

The plain old Japanese excuse. I am with you smithinjapan, Japan lost because they were relatively bad, with poor technical skills. The players of Cote D'Ivoir were technically superior, more offensive, more inspired. Although they lack precision in many opportunities to make a goal before they did make it, they deserve their victory.

The Cote D'Ivoire team was playing soccer while the Japanese team was playing ball. A difference that Japanese media didn't want to face with their BS samourai thing.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yurusenai, ha ha!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Is it just me or did anybody notice that as soon as Hasebe was substituted with Endo that Cotė D'Ivoire quickly scored their two goals! Honda's goal was nice ,but as others have stated the ball always must go through him and he made a lot of bad or weak passes giving the ball away! This is not the first time Japan has used this strategy, when Zico was the coach, everything went through Hidetoshi Nakata. The other teams just focused on him,shutting down the entire Japanese team. If I was Kagawa, I would be pissed that I didn't get the ball more, or that I got substituted for in the game.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is not about the size of the player, they are just not good enough. Defence was a massive letdown, passing also very untidy. Most importantly, the players lack of aggression. In any contact sport, if a player without his aggression he or she will never get any respect from their opponent. It is yours ass or their ass, it is your choice. Go Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

daito hak. Nothing against constructive criticism and the comment was not in relation to posts about Japans effort today. Sorry.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Japan can not beat that tiny one, how on earth they will go through next level of competition?

Don't worry Japan, it's Greece!

Go, Japan!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan blew it because they thought too highly of themselves.

I never felt they thought highly of themseves. What do you expect them to tell to the media? "We're weak, we will lose"?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

holyholly: "Mr. Holly and I were upset when Japan scored the first goal. Why? Because we knew that we would see Honda's goal on every news channel, on every news program, and see Honda on every sports panel for the next week and a half. Thankfully, the Ivory Coast played better ball and have shut up the mass media for a week or two. I love where I live, and support Japan time to time (Tohoku earthquake), but when it comes to the media, we support any team but Japan."

Exactly.

JoeBigs: "Smith, put your disdain aside for a while and let's have fun!"

So, I should merely praise the Japan team and not suggest they did not do well in some aspects? And here I thought this was a discussion forum! I think the WC is heaps of fun, and enjoy watching and talking about it, but pointing out that Cote D'Ivoire was the better team in the match or players' mistakes on either side is not disdain.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Seem some don't seem to know that Ivory Coast is expected to make it past the group unlike Japan. In previous World Cups they had been unlucky in that they were placed in strong groups. This is the first World Cup that they are in a group with lesser teams except Columbia which is expected to win the group. Japan just doesn't have the individuals. Ivory Coast just doesn't play as a team for the most part. The team that showed any spirit was when Ivory Coast's hero Drogba entered the came and in a flash of passion, Ivory Coast scored. Japan lost all spirit and allowed the winning goal. Then Japan just fell apart. When they started to attack, they passed directly to an Ivory Coast player. This is why, I can' t stand them. I much prefer Japan's women team because they don't give up; can't wait until 2015 in Canada!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

'I never felt they thought highly of themseves. What do you expect them to tell to the media? "We're weak, we will lose"?'

Exactly. The odds rated Japan as pretty much a 50-50 shot to get through this group before the tournament started and 50-50 shots should be talking with confidence about reaching the next stage. I want to hear Japan's players say they are disappointed that they didn't perform well and are confident of putting that right by winning the next game. That's what footballers should be saying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Honda score a really nice goal, that is unquestionable. Japan, however, seemed tired early on with like a billion yellow cards handed received. All in all, not a very great game - both teams looked weak and I will eat my hat if they get far in this world cup. Japan still seems inexperienced and unfocused. Ivory Coast played a bit better but they too seem like a very young team.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

ka_chan: "Ivory Coast just doesn't play as a team for the most part."

You've got to be kidding! Yeah, they've been put in tougher groups in the past, but they dominated this game from literally the first minute, and I think they're first shot at net, which was quite close, as after the second minuted. They had a tough time putting the ball in the net, but I think if you check the stats you'll see 'my ball' time for the two teams is quite different, and the number of shots at net as well. They controlled things quite nicely. You're right about the Japan side falling apart, though. I couldn't believe how many times Honda and Okazaki game the ball to the other team when they got it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I agree with SmithinJapan's comments about African teams. If they win, it's never because they are clever, organized and well-drilled. It's because they are "brawny" and "muscular" etc. While the Ivorians obviously put a lot of time in at the gym, you can't win a football game with 11 ripped wrestlers, so it's obviously only part of the story (and to get a sculpted physique is down to hard work and effort whether you are black or white, so going on about how strong your opponents are with the subtext that they should be able to dominate naturally without putting in any effort is rude in itself - it's just another form of lazy stereotyping that refuses to acknowledge the dedication of the individual).

Anyway, I posted on another story about stereotyping of African sports people and was unable to generate much agreement, but it is plain to see.

Yesterday, a commentator was expressing shock and surprise because the Ivorians were standing in a circle holding mans like the Japanese "enjin". He said "teamwork is their weak point and they are obviously trying to address it". This comes out again and again, in both Western and Japanese media.

African teams are disorganized, African teams can't work together blah, blah, blah. It's all completely without substantiating evidence.

Today, Ivory Coast won because they ran a tight ship. They back a well organized back line, they had good co-ordination between the back four and the midfield, they moved the ball around well, and they were physical without being clumsy. I didn't count but I think Japan actually committed more fouls. Unfortunately, none of the above will feature in the analysis of the game. The media have already written their story and they stick by it even in the face of conflicting evidence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan played well for the first 16 minutes (i.e. until Honda scored his very good goal). Seems they got a bit too excited about that goal and lost their focus for the rest of the match. Ivory Coast were the better team on the day and therefore deserved to win.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Knox: "Japan, however, seemed tired early on with like a billion yellow cards handed received."

Actually, I think it was two yellow cards, so slightly less than a billion. IC also got a yellow card, but replays showed there was actually no contact. In any case, people need to stop with the excuses and just admit IC played a lot better and rightfully won. Japan didn't look 'tired', it looked overconfident, sloppy, outplayed, and manipulated. IC was having them jump through hoops in the second half, and especially Honda kept losing the ball to them. They wanted another corner kick chance? boom! Got it. One more for the road? Got it. Hopefully Japan learns from it and beats Greece.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cote d'Ivoire scores 2 goals in 2 minutes to beat Japan 2-1

My pick for this tourney.......It will either be Argentina.

Who are you guys picking?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Blame the defense for 2 goals within a few minutes. The other 85 minutes, I thought the defense played quite well. If the defense was horrible the whole game, the score would have been 10-1. Kawashima only had 4 saves which means the ball didn't get through the defense that many times.

Must-win game against Greece. Last World Cup, Japan was the underdog against Denmark and Cameroon and beat them both. Plus they took a 0-0 game into overtime against a much much better Paraguay team. Anything is possible! GO JAPAN!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is one aspect I dislike intensely about the match.

After Keisuke Honda scored the first goal, his Japan football team mates on the field rushed up to share the joy of the goal and to congratulate him.

What did Keisuke Honda do?

He pushed them away !!!

It was like he refused to share this moment of glory with his team mates. He did not want them blocking the camera telephoto lenses clicking away at him. It was unimaginably selfish.

What team spirit? There was none. It was all about Keisuke Honda and his ego.

A Japan football team like that does not deserve to win. No wonder Ivory Coast won the match.

The Japan football coach and manager better knock some sense into Keisuke Honda's egoistic head.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Japanese team is a mixed bag, sometimes they just surprise everyone, but most times fall short on the big stage. They really need to get their game together or they are going home with 0 points. Although it is nice not see a news flash every 10 minutes when Japan wins an international game. There is supporting your nation, then there is news overkill.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ivory Coast played like men for 80 minutes ... and then they suddenly became wimps in the last 10. Falling down and getting "injured" on every play. Come on guys, just play the game.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It was like he refused to share this moment of glory with his team mates.

Come to think of it, he always goes to the audience after a goal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ricoh, watch the reply. He runs straight to the bench and is hugged by his teammates.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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