Japan v Latvia Friendly Result (Kirin Challenge Cup 2013)

The Samurai Blue eased to victory against very poor opposition in the shape of Latvia, but it wasn’t until the 41st minute that they took the lead. Shinji Okazaki stretched to divert Atsuto Uchida’s wayward shot into the net via the upright to give Japan a 1-0 advantage at half-time.

Two further goals were added in the space of teo minutes in the second period, both created by Shinji Kagawa. First on 59 minutes Keisuke Honda bent the ball beyond the reach of Vanins in the Latvia goal, before Okazaki doubled his tally and scored his 31st overall in 59 appearances for the national team, rounding Vanins and rolling the ball into the empty net. Okazaki now sits just seven goals behind Hiromi Hara in the all-time goal scoring table for his country, and continuing at only a marginally improved goals per game ratio could see him reach Hara in third position before the close of the year.

With such bare resistance offered by their opponents it took little effort on the Samurai Blues’ part to dismantle the visitors, but they can be satisfied with a reasonable performance and in having achieved the expected and required comfortable win.

Japan Japan
Okazaki 41′, 61′
Honda 60′
3 Latvia 5050 Latvia 0

Japan: Kawashima; Uchida (Gotoku Sakai, 62′), Konno (Inoha, 66′), Yoshida, Nagatomo; Hasebe, Hosogai (Endo, 45′); Kiyotake (Maeda, 45′), Honda (Inui, 62′), Kagawa; Okazaki (Otsu, 81′)
Substitutes: Hayashi, Gonda; Inoha, Gotoku Sakai, Mizumoto, Hiroki Sakai; Endo, Takahashi; Inui, Otsu; Maeda

Latvia: Vanins; Bulvītis, Ivanovs, Gorkšs, Rugins; Laizāns (Žigajevs, 65′), Cauna (Sinelnikovs, 88′), Višnakovs (Zjuzins, 65′), Fertovs; Kamešs (Maksimenko, 72′), Gauračs (Verpakovskis, 71′)
Substitutes: Doroševs, Mālins, Maksimenko, Klava, Kurakins, Smirnovs, Žigajevs, Zjuzins, Sinelnikovs, Verpakovskis


92nd Emperor’s Cup Final


Masakatsu Sawa’s snap shot after a pass from Leandro Domingues was turned away well by Gamba Osaka goalkeeper Yohei Takeda. From the resulting corner, however, bent away from goal by Jorge Wagner, Yasuhito Endo could not climb high enough to divert the ball away from goal, and Masakatsu Sawa rose to plant a firm header beyond Takeda to score the only goal of the game for Kashiwa Reysol. which ended Gamba Osaka’s hopes of appearing in their sixth consecutive AFC Champions League. Reysol join Australia’s Central Coast Mariners, Guizhou Renhe from China and South Korea’s Suwon Samsung Bluewings in Group H, taking the final place reserved for a Japanese side in the competition. Gamba now have the opportunity to focus primarily on gaining immediate promotion back to the top-flight of Japanese football, but whether they are able to rely on the talents of senior internationals Endo and Yasuyuki Konno, together with the potent attacking abilities of Leandro and Akihiro Ienaga is a matter which will be decided in the coming weeks.

Gamba Osaka
0 Kashiwa Reysol
Watanabe 35′

Japan National Football Team Results: 1950-1954

South Korea’s Chung Nam-Sik (centre), flanked by teammates Choi Jung-Min (left) and Sung Nak-Woon (right), shoots towards the Japanese goal in the first of two 1954 FIFA World Cup qualification matches between the two teams. China withdrew before qualification got underway, leaving South Korea and Japan to battle it out for the sole place reserved for an Asian team at the finals in Switzerland. The first game (above) was won by Kim Yong-Shik’s side 5-1, and although required to play both matches in Japan owing to the South Korean government’s refusal to allow Japan to play on their territory, the Meiji-Jingu Stadium proved no disadvantage to the travelling side and they clinched their place in the finals with a 2-2 draw one week later (Image courtesy JCube)

Friendly Matches

11/02/1951 Japan
Kano 19′
Ninomiya 67′, 89′
Miyata 88′
5 (2) All Kansai Selection
4 (3)
Japan XI: Yukio Tsuda; Megumu Tamura, Yoshio Okada, Koji Miyata, Shigeo Sugimoto, Ko Arima, Masanori Tokita, Taro Kagawa, Seki Matsunaga, Toshio Iwatani, Takashi Kano
Substitutes: Hideo Horiguchi, Nobuo Matsunaga, Hirokazu Ninomiya, Tsunae Wada, Nobuyuki Kato, Ken Noritake
Coach: Hirokazu Ninomiya
Venue: Osaka City Stadium, Osaka, Japan

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Japan National Football Team Results: 1940-1949

Collection of newspaper cuttings showing various events from the 1940 East Asia Games in progress. (Image courtesy Bunzo)

Tokyo had been chosen by the International Olympic Committee as the host city for the 1940 Olympic Games after conducting an unprecedented, intensive lobbying campaign that would look familiar to contemporary mega-event strategists. The Japanese bid project won the support of a number of powerful nations accordingly, the United States, Great Britain and Germany among them, and Japan’s ambassador to Rome, Sugimura Yotaro, persauded Mussolini to drop Rome’s competing bid for the 1940 Games with a guarantee for Japanese support four years later.

Despite causing irritation by building a new stadium in Komozawa rather than as initially planned in the outer grounds of Meiji-Jingu Shrine, and on the brink of war with China, out of necessity having to cancel additional plans for the Olympic flame to travel via the ancient Silk Road and proposing the flame be flown non-stop from Germany, the country looked set to host a games for which the successful bid had brought widespread rejoicing in Japan. Coinciding with the legend of the Japanese Empire having been founded in 660BC, and hence it being the purported 2600th Anniversary of the establishment of the Empire by Jimmu, it would enable the country’s leaders to project an image of an ambitious, vibrant and modern nation, as well as the darker aspect of a highly militarist government potentially using the games as a nationalistic propaganda tool and to promote the Emperor himself.

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Japan National Football Team Results: 1930-1939

Outer Precincts of Meiji Shrine Athletic Grounds (Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Library)

Ninth Far Eastern Games

25/05/1930 Empire of Japan
Wakabayashi 10′, 12′, 22′, 51′
Own Goal 16′
Teshima 32′
Ichihashi 86′
7 (5) Philippines
2 (2)
Japan XI: Saizo Saito; Teizo Takeuchi, Yukio Goto, Nagayasu Honda, Shigemaru Takenokoshi (c), Masao Nozawa, Yasuo Haruyama, Takeo Wayabayashi, Shiro Teshima, Hideo Shinojima, Tadao Takayama
Substitutes: Tokizo Ichihashi, Tameo Ide, Shozaburo Sugimura, Abe
Coach: Shigeyoshi Suzuki
Venue: Outer Precincts of Meiji Shrine Athletic Grounds, Tokyo, Japan
29/05/1930 Empire of Japan
Teshima 23′
Takayama 57′
Shinojima 73′
3 (1) Republic of China
3 (1)
Japan XI: Saizo Saito; Teizo Takeuchi, Yukio Goto, Nagayasu Honda, Shigemaru Takenokoshi (c), Masao Nozawa, Yasuo Haruyama, Takeo Wayabayashi (Sub 77′, Ichihashi), Shiro Teshima, Hideo Shinojima, Tadao Takayama
Substitutes: Tokizo Ichihashi, Tameo Ide, Shozaburo Sugimura, Abe
Coach: Shigeyoshi Suzuki
Venue: Outer Precincts of Meiji Shrine Athletic Grounds, Tokyo, Japan

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92nd Emperor’s Cup: Semi-Final Results

(Yasuhito Endo’s 23rd minute cross flew over Hitoshi Sogahata and into the Kashima Antlers’ net, but the fortuitous nature of the strike shouldn’t undermine a performance in which his Gamba Osaka side came closest to adding to the number of goals scored, and reached the 92nd Emperor’s Cup final. Endo struck the bar later in the first period, while Akihiro Ienaga also went close with a flying volley as Sogahata’s handling deserted him. Yuya Osako found the woodwork with a thumping header for Antlers, but it is Gamba who will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2013 AFC Champions League, and provide the best possible case for Endo and fellow Samurai Blue Yasuyuki Konno to remain with the Suita side as they seek immediate promotion to J.League Division 1)

Gamba Osaka
Endo 23′
1 Kashima Antlers
Yokohama F-Marinos
0 Kashiwa Reysol
Kudo 23′

Matches played 29 December. Gamba Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol will meet in the 92nd Emperor’s Cup Final, to be played on 1 January 2013 at the National Olympic Stadium, kick-off 14:00 JST.

Japan National Football Team Results: 1920-1929

Fifth Far Eastern Games

30/05/1921 Empire of Japan
Mototane Goto 7′
1 (1) Philippines 3 (1)
Japan XI: Shimizu; Hoshino, Tsuyuki; Yuzuru Nozu, Moriya, Mori; Ohashi, Ando, Sunao Goto, Mototane Goto, Minoru Takahashi (c)
Substitutes: Katsumi Onita, Hitosi Sasaki, Izome
Coach: Hitoshi Sasaki
Venue: Shanghai, Republic of China

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