Japan progressed to the round of 16 of the FIFA U17 World Cup with a 1-0 defeat of African nation Senegal. The match which was characterized by a flurry of chances saw Senegal rest their key players after securing qualification with two wins in a row.
The Japanese were on the offensive and were in control of the game in the opening stages testing the opposition stopper from range. The changes to the team affected Senegal who could not create many opportunities to get a foothold on the game.
Japan international Shinji Kagawa has joined Spanish division two outfit Real Zaragoza according to a statement by Borussia Dortmund. Kagawa had struggled for playing time last season under manager Lucien Favre and spent the second half of the season on loan at Turkish outfit Besiktas.
Kagawa has enjoyed a starring career after breaking through with Borussia Dortmund in 2010, the Japanese won back to back Bundesliga titles. He earned a dream move to Manchester United in 2012 but failed to truly express his abilities at the club.
English Premier League side Everton is reported to be interested in Japan international Shingi Kagawa. The 30-year-old has become surplus to requirements at Borussia Dortmund with the player spending the second half of the season at Turkish outfit Besiktas.
Kagawa is still highly rated in England after his mix spell at Manchester United. It is understood that there are several teams looking to sign the player in the summer. Dortmund are willing to listen to offers for the player and value him at around £5 million.
England have won the She Believes Cup for the first time as they defeated 2015 World Cup finalist Japan in the final game. The Lionesses came out blazing in a game that saw Japan crumble to three goals within the first 45 minutes.
Lucy Staniforth began the scoring with a neat finish from outside the box, while Karen Carney increased the lead with a nice header. The game was over just before halftime as Beth Mead Fired in from close range just before half-time.
Vissel Kobe FC striker Lukas Podolski has revealed he would love to turn out for hometown club Cologne again before he finally calls time on his illustrious career.
Podolski made a bold decision last summer, leaving Turkish giants Galatasary for Japan to play for Vissel Kobe FC – a move in which many saw as the player bidding farewell to playing football at the highest level. Maybe he felt it was time to rake in the cash.
The Japanese women national team, Nadeshiko came out on top in a friendly game against Norway on Sunday in preparation for the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup. Forward ManaIwabuchi was the cream of the crop for Japan.
Japan started on the front foot, when forward Kumi Yokoyama gave them an early lead in the 16th
minute, courtesy of a well-placed shot, sending the Japanese fans into ecstasy at the Tottori Bird Stadium. The manager and the fans were visibly excited to see their team take the lead so early in the game.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has heaped praise on debutants Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon, who came as late substitutes during the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Japan international Muto joined the Magpies on a permanent deal from Mainz earlier in the summer whilst Rondon arrived on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion in exchange for Dwight Gayle.
Speaking after the Spurs’ defeat, Benitez was particularly appreciative of the efforts of Muto and Rondon, who managed to make an impact following their introduction onto the playing field, he said: “They did well [Muto and Rondon]. They were trying hard, now it is just about improving the understanding with the rest of their team-mates. So they know what we want to do and how the other team-mates will react. Once they get that, they will be better, but with Muto, Rondon, Joselu and Ayoze (Perez), we have four different kinds of strikers, and that can be good.”
Japanese national team coach Akira Nishino claimed that he made a couple of mistakes – especially with regards to tactics – in the recent loss against Poland. Japan were expected to be a strong contender to reach the last 16 of the World Cup 2018, as the team were placed in a relatively comfortable group that included the likes of Poland and Senegal. However, a tough set of matches to start the competition led to Japan coming into the game against Poland in a difficult circumstance. Rather than try and go out for a victory, Japan were surprisingly defensive in the 1-0 loss against Poland.
After the game,Nishino admitted that he was playing on Colombia to beat Senegal rather than go for a victory against Poland and suffer more disadvantage in terms of goal difference. Incredibly, this controversial approach surprisingly worked out well for Japan, who were able to end up level with Senegal on a number of parameters. However, Japan were able to progress into the last 16 as a result of picking up two fewer cards. It remains to be seen ifNishino’s open admission will be at a disadvantage to the team when they take on Belgium, who are clear favourites for the World Cup title, in the round of last 16.
Leicester City manager Claude Puel has opened the possibility of extending the stay of Japan international Shinji Okazaki. However, the Foxes boss has insisted that it is not a priority right now, and wants the 31-year-old to continue performing for the east Midlands outfit.
Okazaki was one of the many standout players for Leicester during the 2015/16 season, where they went against the odds to claim their maiden Premier League title. Unlike, other players from title-winning squad, he has failed to earn an improved contract with the club, though Puel is open to keeping hold of his marksman.
The powers-that-be in Japanese Olympic football have appointed Hajime Moriyasu as their new coach for the 2020 Games in Tokyo and they have promised the fans that the squad will give their all in their quest for what would be their first medal in the sport since 1968.
Moriyasu is a former midfielder for the national team who won three J League titles in charge of Sanfreece Hiroshima in 2012, 2013 and 2015 but left the job in the summer of this year with the side at the wrong end of the table and in big danger of relegation.