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Monday, 10 January 2011

Japan Snatch Draw against Jordan

In a game they should really have won quite comfortably, Japan struggled to a last-gasp draw in their opening game of the Asian Cup. Maya Yoshida, headed home the equaliser two minutes into the four minutes of added time. The former Grampus defender had already seen a first-half goal cruelly ruled out for offside (Maya wasn't but Matsui was), and had been the unlucky defender to get the touch that deflected the ball past Kawashima for the Jordan goal.

Shinji Kagawa, Tadanari Lee and Makoto Hasebe all had good chances to score but failed to do so. On the other hand, Jordan rarely threatened Kawashima's goal, apart from the deflected shot and a couple of chances when lax marking allowed them headers they should not have had.

So, the Year of the Rabbit has got off to familiar start. Japan struggling to make their superior possession and technique count against determined but ultimately outclassed opponents. The most worrying aspect was manager Zaccheroni's reaction, who spent much of the game looking like a rabbit caught in headlights. Not an encouraging sign that he will be able to lift the team and get them to earn the wins they should be getting against this sort of opponent. Japan will have to get past several such teams during the qualifying rounds for the next World Cup.

Japan Lineup
Eiji Kawashima
Atsuto Uchida, Yasuyuki Konno, Maya Yoshida, Yuto Nagatomo
Shinji Kagawa, Yasuhito Endo, Makoto Hasebe, Daisuke Matsui (Shinji Okazaki 58')
Keisuke Honda (Fujimoto 90')
Ryoichi Maeda (Tadanari Lee HT)

Asahi News: Zac's Japan narrowly escapes defeat

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