Posted by: MOIST | June 24, 2010

Japan 3-1 Denmark

EAiSA Predicition: 0-1 loss for Japan

EAiSA proved wrong again and in what style! Japan cruised through their big game with Denmark thanks to three beautifully taken goals. What started out as an encounter we were all nervous about ended up being done and dusted with enough time left that the ref shouldn’t have bothered with the whole 90 minutes.

Considering that this World Cup ball is meant to be pants it looked like Keisuke Honda was being an idiot by doing his Ronaldo impression 45 yards out. 2 seconds later it was Danish goalie Sorensen that looked like a clown as he was beaten on his side of the goal by an absolute rocket.

Honda has previous when it comes to free-kicks but this was something special. It went up, sideways, down, a bit more sideways, a little sideways the other way and then, thud, it hit the net.

13 minutes later Japan were at it again. This time 25 yards out and central. Honda behind the ball, all eyes on him, as Yasuhito Endo stepped up and curled the ball around the wall and into the net. Was the wall badly positioned? It doesn’t matter the way Endo hit it. Up and over, game, set and match.

With Nakazawa and Tulio imperious at the back, Denmark offered nothing in the first half. In the second they came out a bit more and created a few chances which were well snuffed out until Makoto Hasebe looked at Daniel Agger funny and the ref gave a penalty. A great save by Kawashima was ruined by the ball falling back to Tomasson who made it 2-1.

Here was litmus test for Japan. Would the crumble like they have been known to in the past or would this concentration and strength they seem to have gained over the past 2 games come to the fore.

The next goal would be critical and when Honda showed a touch of class to drift pass his defender and a generous nature to square the ball to Okazaki it was game over and proof of Japan’s new mental strength.

With Paraguay next who’s to say we won’t be seeing Samurai Blue in the quarter-finals?

Player Match Reports:

Starting XI:

Eiji Kawashima: Saved a penalty and was unlucky to see the rebound fall back to the striker. No nerves after his clanger against the Dutch and made some good saves.

Yuto Nagatomo: Ridiculously booked for time wasting after about 20 minutes but had a solid game and never looked troubled.

Marcus Tulio Tanaka: His performances keep on making me hate him less which troubles me. Nagoya may struggle to keep him.

Yuji Nakazawa: Had Bendtner in his pocket all game. Martin Keown said Premiership teams should buy him because “He’s up for a battle.”

Yuichi Komano: Got over having his name pronounced Kimono by the commentator for the first half an hour to have a solid game. Denmark targeted him and it didn’t work.

Yuki Abe: Just did what he’s done each game, sat in front of the defence and spoiled attacks.

Makoto Hasebe: Got forward well and was unlucky with an early chance. Gave away a silly penalty which EAiSA think was soft.

Yasuhito Endo: Scored a stunning free-kick from 25 yards and hit the bar with a 60 yarder. Has found his eye after 2 poor games.

Daisuke Matsui: Up and down all game with energy and skill. Harry Redknapp seemed smitten by him. Spurs in the summer perhaps?

Yoshito Okubo: Threaded a lovely early ball through to Matsui which Sorensen saved well. Full of energy again and runs all day.

Keisuke Honda: Scored a screamer of a free-kick from 40 odd yards, Ronaldo-esque it was, and set up Okazaki for the third with some lovely skill. Will CSKA be able to keep him if he shines like this against Paraguay?

Subs:

Shinji Okazaki (74 mins for Matsui): Scored his second goal of the year and excellent and unselfish work from Honda. Made a nuisance of himself until the end.

Yasuyuki Konno (88 mins for Okubo): Not really sure if he touched the ball, was too busy celebrating.

Junichi Inamoto ( 90 mins for Endo): Not sure if he touched the ball either.

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Responses

  1. Great analysis. I think that above all, the Japanese team showed tremendous physical strength and fitness and more importantly, they played well as a team.

    They are well organized (this is important, see the French and Italian teams) and each player knows its role. I look forward to them beating Paraguay in PK’s.


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