world cup

Netherlands beats Japan 1-0

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Japan would do well to play for the draw here. Heck - put 6 or 7 defenders on and no strikers if possible! Just camp in the Dutch half and they may just shock everyone and achieve a result...

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Make that - just camp in their OWN half!

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I can't wait, i really can't. we will bring silence to Japan today

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All Holland needs is a strong offense and the game is over. Japan needs to hope they can hold Holland in a draw, and has to play a strong defense.

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Man... the Dutch have TOTAL control over the ball.

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Japan is the most defensive team in the world cup. Taking that into account, of course it's not going to be the prettiest game ever played.

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They've actually had a few good looks, the more so the closer it has gotten to the end of the half.

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tegomas: "Japan is the most defensive team in the world cup."

I think you've fallen of your chair and hit your hit. They are the least offensive team (therefore being quite offending), but that doesn't therefore make them the most defensive.

For a split second before the first half ended the game became a wee bit more intense.

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Now if only Japan can repeat this in the second half.

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This is one of the few matches where you can actually hear some of the crowd chanting over the vuvuzelas. Probably because of the 3,000 Japanese fans there.

By the way, does anyone know why Japan is wearing white instead of their traditional blue?

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NICE!!!

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Holland 1, Japan 0.

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Japan is putting on a little bit of heat. Still doing more passing than shooting, though.

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"By the way, does anyone know why Japan is wearing white instead of their traditional blue?"

They want to show off the 'red card design' at their necks. Harder to see with blue.

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I like the way Okubo agonizes over how 'close' his shots were, as though they deserved to go in. Come on, boys!

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3,000 supporters is less than almost any other time, hohoho, aren,t you a silly card?

Holland aren,t playing very well. Big Chris thinks this is omewhat dull.

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The Japanese team is just teasing Holland.

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smithinjapan "I think you've fallen of your chair and hit your hit. They are the least offensive team (therefore being quite offending), but that doesn't therefore make them the most defensive."

Poor wording perhaps, but I honestly think they are one of the most, if not the most defensive team this wc. I've seen all the games thus far, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not wrong here. Their ultra tight defense in combination with their lack of offensive power makes them, in my book, just that.

It's not the most enjoyable way to play football (which was my point to begin with), but it's a very important strategy against offensive powers greater than your own. Not a pretty sight, but Japan is playing very smart.

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tegomas: Perhaps I was a bit testy. Look, I DO think Japan's stronger point is its defense, but that in no way indicates it's one of the best defensive teams in the game. I don't think that's the case at all. In a number of cases they were spread out all over the place and Dutch players were easily within scoring range.

Now, I WILL give overdue credit to Tulio -- he's been doing wonders this game in terms of knocking out Dutch corner kicks, but still.

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"Holland aren't playing very well."

Dat true, they should have scored at least twice by now.

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Well, I'll give it to Japan in that they really ratcheted up the pressure at the end.

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Actually, Japan just lost, 1-0.

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borscht: no kidding. But they still ratcheted up the pressure at the end, with one very close shot.

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I really, really hate the way the media grills the players immediately after a loss. It's friggin' cruel. It looked like Okada wanted to clock the interviewer, and it was clear Tulio just wanted to get the hell out of there.

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Game over. It was a good goal from Holland, but I really wasn't impressed by them that much, considering they're supposed to be one of the better teams. If Denmark doesn't do that much better, I see Japan capable of going through to the next round. I was surprised at how many chances Japan had in that match.

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Japan could save the match but they surely lack good finisher. Japanese strikers failed to make a successful target despite of having more chances than Holland.

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Good night and wonderful dreams - thanks Holland !!! a peaceful Sunday !

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Pukey: I agree.... Holland was not up to par, and Japan did better than average. Denmark had better get its game on.... it's now between them and Japan to see who goes on (well, assuming Cameroon plays like it did the other day).

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Japan had so many chances to get it in goal, but failed to do so. They don't have anyone who can finish. The Dutch played their style which always seem to lead to wins. Congrats to them for pretty much securing a place in the next round. Japan did show some grit on defense though, and played the Dutch tougher than Denmark did.

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Should have brought in Morimoto. Nakamura did absolutely nothing. Still, Japan showed some spirit after they gave up that goal, and Kawashima had some wicked saves. Not a game to be ashamed of.

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Japan was the better team in the second half.Holland for all the talk of their skillz is a dud.If Japan had been better in the last third of the field,it coulda been different.But the goalie should have saved that shot.

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"We will totally silence and destroy Japan on Saturday, this is a no brainer really"

Say, Norinrad21. That was quite a destruction by your team, wasn't it? Where's your foot now?

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i am heart-broken

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Actually, Japan played very well. I think that Nakamura and Honda did not perform as they were supposed to. Holland was a huge disappointment in both games against Denmark and Japan, but they got 6 points and have (almost) qualified to the next round.

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They reacted well after the goal but the substitutes, specially Nakamura, were not in the same level and cooled things off for a while. Tamada was useless.

Don't know if jabulani did it again but it looked more like a keeper's mistake.

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Japan should be proud of their team and their coach.Well done lads !!

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roomtemperature: "Say, Norinrad21. That was quite a destruction by your team, wasn't it? Where's your foot now?"

Given the gravity of the loss I would say yes. Japan DID play better than I expected, and probably many others, but they still completely lack the ability to put the ball in the net. Tulio and Honda seemed upset in particular during the interviews, and I noticed none of the Honda power drink commercials aired after the game.

Anyway, while the score wasn't all that phenomenal, the important point at this stage in the game is who won. This was a MAJOR loss for the team that lost, while the team that won is sitting pretty at the head of the group.

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Netherlands should thank the ball .

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Almost had that goal in the end. The Japan team played well. Hats off to them.

Taka

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Honda was due to be Canonized about 12 hours ago. Now what? Oh well. at least his hair still had that spiky thing going on during the losers interview.

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If only Japan had tried to play from the very beginning they could have drawn or even won. Holland haven't got a Messi type player, hardly anyone has, so you might as well have a go. There's not actually that much difference between the so called superstars like Rooney, Torres etc and players like Honda, Donovan.. so just go for it.

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Wow. Our Dutch team was Lucky. Though i dont agree with some of you saying the Dutch were really bad. We had some great chances especially getting to the end of the game. And some of the great players on the Dutch team like Arjan Robben havnt even played yet. Many others only get put in at the end of the game not really being able to show what they can do yet. But the Fact is Japan was playing really good. Very Strong Defense! Very good actions in playing past the Dutch. Yet they just lacked the ability to finish with goals. Great Respect for Japan players! Peace from Holland.

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Japan started out, as they usually do, playing to not lose. They were punished for it. Netherlands did enough.

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Japan lost as if any other outcome was predicted. Take a look at the way their players cried like babies whenever they came into contact with Dutch players: they grabbed their faces or legs like they had been hit with sledgehammers when replays clearly showed they weren't even touched ! Crybaby team deserves what it got. Why celebrate mediocrity ?!

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When Robben joins the team in the knockout round Holland will regain its fluidity. Robben never stops running, he is incredible.

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Soggy, did you see how van Bronckhorst reacted after getting "hit" by Komano? Coming from person who said " who cares about footy " I doubt you even watched the game.

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@smithinjapan

Anyway, while the score wasn't all that phenomenal, the important point at this stage in the game is who won. This was a MAJOR loss for the team that lost, while the team that won is sitting pretty at the head of the group.

When isn't the result the most important thing? It isn't a MAJOR loss for Japan, because after beating Cameroon the Denmark game was always going to be the more important one. Anything from this game would have been a bonus.

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I think that Japan played well after the goal fell. In the first half they were only obstructing the game and destructing the attacks of their adversaries which was completely wrong tactics because they did not try to make a goal, just to play not to lose the game because somebody told them that an equal result is same as winning against Holland. They did not have confidence to attack and had all their players always in their half. They woke up only when Dutch team scored and tried with all their strength to score but it was late. If they did not play so defensive in the first part, the result could have beee different because Netherlands did not play well at all. In second half Japanese team looked good. Losing from Holland by 1:0 is not bad at all.

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I have to watch both again to be sure, but if Kewell's "hand ball" for Australia was a red card offense, then Van Persie's "hand ball" should have meant no goal for Holland. Why are there different rules at different ends of the field?

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PS My favourites in this game: Tulio and Okubo. Honda was just a handsome man who did not do his best. Love his hair style and his self-critisism. He is not a cry baby.

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GJDailleult: "I have to watch both again to be sure, but if Kewell's "hand ball" for Australia was a red card offense, then Van Persie's "hand ball" should have meant no goal for Holland. Why are there different rules at different ends of the field?"

That red card was ridiculous, and proves the point I made earlier in the day about last night's Germany game -- the refs are out of control, and it's time they were forced to carry around portable units with which they had to watch replays of the game before they could decide on their calls for sure. The refing in this game is totally one-sided.

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Well, you won't see attractive football if the main objective of the opposing team is a draw. It showed in the first half. Japan got some shots off in the second half, when they had to after falling 1 goal behind, but the Netherlands also had, in my opinion, a couple of far better chances. In the end, it is the win that counts and the Netherlands is still unbeaten. Against Denmark, Japan has to come out and I don't see Japan winning that match.

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rockbuster: "When isn't the result the most important thing?"

It always is, and that was my point, in reaction to a comment by a poster who seemed to imply that the win wasn't that big a deal because the score was only 1-0 and the team was not 'destroyed' as another poster had predicted.

"It isn't a MAJOR loss for Japan, because after beating Cameroon the Denmark game was always going to be the more important one."

It IS a major loss, because now it's down to the wire whereas they would have been pretty much assured a position in the next round had they won. Likewise, had they won it would have been a major victory, no? I'd say while the score was not all that great, and I still don't think the Dutch played to their potential, it was a pretty big win for them.

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Well, you won't see attractive football if the main objective of the opposing team is a draw.

How can you say Japan was going for the draw? In fact, the stats at the end of the match showed that Japan had 10 shot on goals to the Netherlands' 9. You could equally say that the Dutch were also going for the tie, if that's the case.

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Just because it is a "major" win for one team, it doesn't make it a "major" loss for the other. Japan would have looked at this game and thought 'we are probably not going to get anything from it' - just take a look at the amount of people who predicted a Japan win, zero - and they didn't. It's no big deal. But they would have looked at the Cameroon & Denmark games as winnable. Which brings me back to the point that the Denmark is far more important to Japan than the Holland game.

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thanks god Japan did not score. I can't take replay after replay of the same goal over and over and over .... I am seeing the silly Cameroon goal in my dreams now....

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tulio was definitely the MVP of the japanese team today. without him, the dutch could have scored like four goals. honda didn't look too tight for some reason. i'm confident that japan can win against denmark and still be in the top 2 teams of the group. GO JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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rockbuster: " Japan would have looked at this game and thought 'we are probably not going to get anything from it'"

Let the excuses begin.

"just take a look at the amount of people who predicted a Japan win, zero - and they didn't."

I don't know a single person who predicted Japan would beat Cameroon, either (at least no one who could say with any confidence Japan would win), but they did, and it was a MAJOR victory for Japan, and a pretty serious blow to Cameroon (both in reputation and the tournament). Now a whole lot of people are more or less assuming they are already out.

"It's no big deal."

Losers often say as much, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it IS a big deal. Germany's loss last night, while I still think they will go on, is a big deal, as is Japan's loss today. Spain's loss is a big deal, even though only one game has been played. At this point int he game, you cannot downplay the importance of winning or losing.

"But they would have looked at the Cameroon & Denmark games as winnable."

Again, I don't know a single person, Japanese included, who thought Japan would win ANY game, so to come on here and say that they've looked at those games as winnable is a bit disingenuous. Now, I will admit that AFTER winning the first game more and more people see Japan moving on to the next round as a possibility, but again, no one predicted that Japan would beat Cameroon and Denmark before the Cameroon game -- despite the news channels saying they hoped Japan would win.

"Which brings me back to the point that the Denmark is far more important to Japan than the Holland game."

It is now, definitely, because of the major loss. It's still funny to watch people say, "Ah, this game wasn't important" when a team they may favour loses, though. Do you by chance work for the Japanese media? That's the kind of speech they are preparing if Japan loses to Denmark, too; "Soccer is not an important sport to Japan..." etc.

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rockbuster: And before anyone goes off on any 'anti-Japan' comments, which is often the last resort when they can't argue against someone's comments, I think Japan did a pretty good job all told. They just need to learn to shoot and they'll make an amazing team. Their defense is pretty good, but the Dutch dominated the ball.

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kisekicaroline: "tulio was definitely the MVP of the japanese team today."

Now THAT I can agree on. He made a lot of good headers to get the ball out of the zone after Dutch corner kicks. I'm just glad they didn't go in the net.

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Am I the only one sick of the new word the Japanese commentators seem to have learnt for

the World Cup- "power play"?

They say it like 20 times a game!

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That guy who got pulled out on the stretcher wasted almost ALL of the injury time! Unbelievable.

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SmithinJapan - you are missing the point. Of course Spain being beat by the Swiss was a big deal - because Spain were the overwhelming favourites, and it opens up the group. Germany being beaten by the Serbs was also a big deal. Why? Because the Germans were favourites. And again, opens up the group. Everyone expected Holland to win, and they did. I'll say it again - it is no big deal. Was it a big deal in the great scheme of things that Brazil beat North Korea?

And winnable games means they can/could win the game, not they will win the game. Important difference between the two.

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LoveUSA: "PS My favourites in this game: Tulio and Okubo."

Tulio reminds me of Ai-chan from table tennis... his face gets red and all puffed up and he gives a thumbs up all the time after a mediocre play. He's much better than her, of course, but still.

Okubo was not that great. He made a couple of good shots, but when they didn't go in his expression was like the gods were against him, and he was a victim of some joke.

Honda sucked, as he always has; it proves that his performance in the last game was overrated, and he let it get to his head.

I enjoyed watching Okada -- his arms crossed the ENTIRE game, seething in anger after the final whistle.

Anyway, it's a shame the final game for Japan is at 3:30 in the morning -- err... the final game of this round, that is.... :)

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rockbuster: "Was it a big deal in the great scheme of things that Brazil beat North Korea?"

This is your example to prove your point after you more than proved mine?? The big deal with that game, which the Brazilian team themselves commented on, was how strong the North Korean defense was and that the worst ranked team even managed to score a goal on the top ranked team.

YES, everyone expected Japan to lose, despite hoping otherwise, but that makes the loss no less serious, and THAT is the point.

This is what you said: "But they would have looked at the Cameroon & Denmark games as winnable."

By this you imply that the Japan team itself thought this game was not winnable, as in there was ZERO chance they could win. That's bull, same as the Swiss/Spain game and last night's game with Germany. ALL games hold a chance that either team could win, hence they are ALL 'winnable'... or do you think it's normal and healthy to go into a game knowing you'll lose? Come on, man. ALL games are by definition 'winnable'.

It's sad to watch you downplay this loss as something unimportant, when it's VERY important. Again, thanks to this loss the Denmark game really IS the most important match, but that's BECAUSE they lost this game.

Anyway, I look forward to the excuses if Japan doesn't play well next week.

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rockbottom: Oh, and perhaps you ought to watch the interviews with the players where they all talk about how hard it was to have lost. "No big deal", eh?

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smithinjapan, you reproach all my favourites. A little jealous? I like Tulio because he tried to do everything, defense and attack, he should play on an attacking post where he feels more comfortable.

About Okada, he was very disrepsectful of the Dutch coach, he could not remember his name in a press conference earlier. And he should learn to speak English when he speaks to reporters. I want to see an intelligent coach, who represents the Japanese team to the international community. I think most of the other coaches speak English, with the exception of Okada.

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"Tulio reminds me of Ai-chan from table tennis... his face gets red and all puffed up..."

Smith, give it a rest will you. You start to look like Tulio.

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Smith, give it a rest will you. You start to look like Tulio.

if only he could look like Tulio....he would be sooo handsome. anyway, Tulio had a great game. Nakamura was completely useless.

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Great games by both Australia and Japan tonight. A handball call either way was the difference in both games.

But for both, winning or losing wasn't anywhere near as important as proving they can play at this level. Both did that now just have to try and get the points next game.

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Let the excuses begin.

Yes, smithinjapan. It's funny how posters like you like to say things like "The Dutch weren't up to par" and stuff like that, in an attempt to downplay the game. Hey, the Dutch went out and played their game. Yes, Japan lost, but Japan put up more of a fight than England did against Algeria. I mean to get a scoreless draw against a team like Algeria, whereas Japan just barely lost to a strong Dutch side speaks volumes of the gap between Japan's spirit and England's spirit in this World Cup. Yes, a loss is a loss, but Japan should still hold its head high knowing full well that it played a clean game (no handballs, incessant diving, nasty fouls, headbutts, kicks to the face, favoritism from refs, etc.) with more passion than several teams I can name so far in this tournament.

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A way far better game by Japan, than the first one. All within their possibilities, of course. I'm just interested, why the coach still counted on the goalie. He was worse in the first game and not a bit better against holland. Even my mother would catch this shoot easily, he let pass. The team is doing well, but too much on a defensive basis. Anyway, enough to beat Danmark on a good day, but please, really please, change the goalie... He's so bad...

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Well too bad Jpn lost but folks seriously this game against the dutch was only slightly more exciting than the Cameroon game, IE it was BORING!

Both the dutch & jpn played so so, the game was just marginally more interesting(notice I didnt say exciting) than the Cameroon match....

I wonder how boring the match with demark will be..........

I havent watched all games by any means but so far this WC is sorely lacking in excitement & refereeing!

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after an effort to watch a few games this world cup I remembered why I dont like 'footy'. rather quite dull what what?

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The Japanese team performed quite well, we Dutch may have had 70% posession in the first half but we created zero real chances in the first 45. No other team we played the past three years can say the same. My bet is on Japan to join Holland to go through to the next round...

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stop being mongku Japan

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Smaller field, fewer players and 30-minute halves--this will help ease the yawning attacks. Also, employ something like basketball with a back-field foul rule. Once you pass midfield, you can't pass back beyond that line.

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Wow, unexpected. I guess I had a big mouth with my 4-0 hehe. Good game? No! Always 10 people in the back for Japan. Holland always playing back to the keeper. Frustrating. Japan had some nice chances and Holland screwed up 2 VERY nice chances. If only Merwijk had left Snijder in inBut stead of Afelay. And Elia had to come in wayyyyy sooner. But we got 6 points so we ar e through. I hope Japan wins against denmark, that would be nice. GG to Tulio and Okubo. Honda AND the Japanese commentators p*ss off.

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That game was a real snoozefest.

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Smith, give it a rest will you. You start to look like Tulio.

i think it's a good thing to look like tulio. he's hot!

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yomuri - I'd say a few fellow Canadians have made me laugh as well. Since the world cup started a week ago, every prediction made has been wrong, observations about the games bogus, basic opinions about the teams and sport in general sound like they were formulated after a 10 minute session on Google. And then after their ignorance is exposed, they propose ridiculous rule changes so the game will be more palatable.

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all you anti-japan people should grow up. if they win, you bash them, if they lose, you bash them - they cant win either way. they put up a great effort tonight (as did the aussies) so well done to them. now a draw against denmark should be enough for them to get through - but i am sure you will bash them then too.

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Welcome to JT, tooheysnew. Live with it. As for the games being boring, I can honestly say the last US game was exciting. Japan's play vs the Netherlands was more exciting than the play of France or England. It's more interesting if you're rooting for Japan, but I don't expect many people on this site to be doing that.

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tooheysnew,

It aint Jpn bashing! Most here are simply pointing poor, boring play by Japan, and by Cameroon & Netherlands btw so how the hell can you say its bashing, you need to stop apologizing for Jpns & the rest of their groups boring uninteresting play!

IMO non of this group shud be allowed to go fwd!

Like bicultural pointed the yanks(I am no fan) game was good because they played with heart, pressed fwd, it was good to watch.

Tell you what if Jpn plays a good game I will be happy but we are all waiting & it doesnt look promising

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Tell you what if Jpn plays a good game I will be happy but we are all waiting & it doesnt look promising

I'm also waiting for a good game from basically 80% of the teams in this World Cup. What's worse than those 80% who are playing poorly or not up to standard, is the lack of passion from teams like France, England, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, and Slovakia. I'd say that only Argentina and the Netherlands are playing well. We're still waiting on several others.

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I thought the blue samurais did surprislingly well. Who would have thunk.

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Hey they did a whole lot better than North Korea!LOL

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i think they might win their next game, and go to the next round. BUT what about the USA. WE GOT ROBBED!!

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i want to see japan in the next knoc ought round. i wish all the best for japanees team for up coming match. also wants to conguratulate for the south korean team to enter in knock ought round. all the best them also

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