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Archive for June, 2009

2009-06-13 Jubilo Iwata 2-1 Sanfrecce

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/14

Sanfrecce are out of the J-League Cup after losing this game. A draw would have seen us through. I’m going to say it again though: big who cares. As long as the league form stays good, I’ll be happy.

Jubilo 2 – 1 Sanfrecce
R. Maeda 17′ 1 – 0
R. Maeda 53′ 2 – 0
2 – 1 74′ H. Sato

Incidentally, this is Sato Hisato’s tenth goal of the season in all competitions (five in the league and five in the cup), and five in six games in the cup (the only cup game he didn’t score in was the 2-2 against Oita).

The league action restarts next weekend against Kobe.

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2009-06-10 Japan 1-1 Qatar

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/14

Some more questionable refereeing decisions probably lead to Japan’s squandering three points in this game. A ridiculous penalty for Qatar was converted to their only goal in a game in which only a win for Qatar would have been enough for them to have any hope of qualifying for the World Cup next year. Japan have already qualified but a win would have seen them push Australia for the prestige of winning their qualifying group.

Highlights:

Still no cap for Makino.

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International football refereeing: You’re doing it wrong, Mohsen Basma

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/10

The Japan Football Association are apparently considering filing a formal protest with the Asian Football Confederation following the dismal performance of Syrian referee Mohsen Basma (also known as Muhsen Basma) in the 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan. I hope they include a copy of this youtube video, as it certainly makes for compelling evidence of massive ineptitude at best.

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2009-06-07 Sanfrecce 5-1 Albirex Niigata

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/09

Not the eight goals I was hoping for, but I’ll take it.

Highlights are from a weekly roundup show. The highlights from this match start at 2:45.

The fifth goal was scored by debutant OSAKI Junya, fresh from Sanfrecce Youth (he wasn’t even included in the squad at the beginning of the season so he doesn’t appear in the fixture list booklet. According to the commentators he is in his final year of high school.) Through a happy set of circumstances involving a pair of free tickets, I have photos of all five Sanfrecce goals, so I will post them.

Sanfrecce need only one point in their next game against Jubilo Iwata this weekend to qualify for the next round of the Nabisco Cup.

Scorers:

0 – 1 5′ T. Matsushita
I. Takayanagi 8′ 1 – 1
K. Nakajima 14′ 2 – 1
Y. Kashiwagi 45′ 3 – 1
H. Sato 72′ 4 – 1
J. Osaki 86′ 5 – 1

TAKAYANAGI Issei makes it 1-1 - stefanole

TAKAYANAGI Issei makes it 1-1 - stefanole

NAKAJIMA Koji makes it 2-1 to Sanfrecce - stefanole

NAKAJIMA Koji makes it 2-1 to Sanfrecce - stefanole

KASHIWAGI Yosuke strikes the ball in from TAKAHAGI's layoff, 3-1 - stefanole

KASHIWAGI Yosuke strikes the ball in from TAKAHAGI's layoff, 3-1 - stefanole

SATO Hisato blasts the ball from close range to make it 4-1 - stefanole

SATO Hisato blasts the ball from close range to make it 4-1 - stefanole

Debutant OSAKI Junya wrong-foots the keeper to make it 5 - stefanole

Debutant OSAKI Junya wrong-foots the keeper to make it 5 - stefanole

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2009-06-06 Uzbekistan 0-1 Japan

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/09

OKAZAKI Shinji (left) scored Japan's only goal - stefanole

OKAZAKI Shinji (left) scored Japan's only goal - stefanole

Japan became the first team (by virtue of match timings and time zones) to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after beating Uzbekistan in a scrappy game.

OKAZAKI Shinji scored Japan’s only goal in a game that did not distinguish itself in any positive way.

The referee was a Syrian, and was pretty poor throughout. The cherry on top though was a red card for HASEBE Makoto near the final whistle, where an Uzbek player appeared to commit an Olympic-quality dive without a swimming pool in sight. HASEBE refused to leave the field for a few minutes in the face of such a ridiculous decision (hint – look at the linesman directly behind the incident, he doesn’t even flinch).

Japanese coach OKADA has been banned from the technical area by FIFA for one match following his protests, although he says he was issuing instructions to HASEBE which isn’t totally unreasonable. Anyway, let’s take a look at that dive from another angle:

Lulz. Still no cap for Makino though. WTF Okada? >_>

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2009-06-03 Oita Trinita 2-2 Sanfrecce

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/05

No Youtube yet unfortunately, but I’ll post this anyway.

A. Ienaga 30′ 1 – 0
1 – 1 39′ Y. Hashiuchi
1 – 2 59′ R. Hirashige
Ueslei 79′ 2 – 2

Scorers for Sanfrecce were youngsters (21 and 20 years old respectively) Hashiuchi Yuya (DF) and Hirashige Ryuichi (FW).

Hirashige is a known talent, with over thirty appearances for Sanfrecce since 2007 (most if not all as a substitute probably) and half a dozen goals.

Hashiuchi is a new name to me though, and Wikipedia claims that he has made only three previous appearances for Sanfrecce. This would be his first professional goal. It’s likely that he was given a chance in place of Makino, who is away with the Japan national team who play tomorrow in Uzbekistan. (A win for Japan will see them qualify for the 2010 World Cup.) If that is the case then it is a very good call by coach Petrović.

Although Sanfrecce are currently third in their qualification group for the quarter finals of the cup, they are only a point off second place (and qualification) with a game in hand, and after the 7-0 drubbing of Omiya, Sanfrecce have the best goal difference of any team in the competition. Most forum pundits therefore have Sanfrecce qualifying from Group A along with Urawa Red Diamonds. (Link to tables. Note that the colour coding is incorrect: the top two teams qualify, not the top four.)

I now have mixed feelings about Sanfrecce’s possibly progressing in the Nabisco Cup. Previously I was set against it since it is a big distraction for such small gain. However, if Petrović continues to use the competition as a means to blood Sanfrecce’s talented youngsters in a challenging but relatively safe environment, then I will stand square behind the effort. Really I think the competition should be restricted to U23s or something, along the same lines as the Olympics, but apparently that idea was shot down when the JFA proposed it to the J-League. So it goes.

As for Sunday’s game against Albirex Niigata, Sanfrecce are 1.62/1 to win. Albirex Niigata are a massive 6/1. Here’s hoping for eight goals this time, since I’m planning on attending this weekend.

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2009-05-05 Sanfrecce 2-0 FC Tokyo flickr set uploaded

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/03

Set is up here.

DSC_4946_DxO_raw

I haven’t finished captioning all the photos yet, but I’ll try to find time for that. Photos of the Yamagata game are on the way, and there are some good ones. In the meantime, here is another shot of Takahagi’s goal against Tokyo:

DSC_4486_DxO_ds1_raw

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2009-05-31 Japan 4-0 Belgium

Posted by stefanole on 2009/06/02

Japan won the Kirin Cup (for the third year in a row I think) with another 4-0 victory, this time over a lacklustre Belgian side.

Still no cap for Makino I don’t think, but there is still the WC2010 qualifier against Uzbekistan this weekend.

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