Tag: Japan

World Cup 2010: Japan 3-1 Denmark

Japan v Denmark has to wait until the boys on the Beeb can get Italy’s exit out of their system. But this is probably fair enough. Earlier group results have switched the focus from Netherlands v Cameroon, which means we’ve got Martin Keown summarising. The BBC had Manish Bhasin on the stadium gantry in Cape Town. But Cameroon’s incompetence has spared us. This may have spared Bhasin too. He nods so vigorously in his interview-ette with Clarence Seedorf that you sense his head may have dropped off if he’d had to do another piece at half-time. Japan and Cameroon finally take centre stage in front of rows of seats which are either unoccupied and covered with blue tarpaulin or are Japanese fans in even weirder costumes than usual. Two of them are dressed as sperm. But it’s before the watershed, so commentator Steve Wilson can’t say so. Nicklas Bendtner colours in his socks early on, or at least the white tape around his ankles. This allows Wilson a stab at a “red tape” joke, which isn’t bad. Denmark’s left-back Simon Poulsen is caught offside twice in the opening minutes. Wilson suggests it is “nice to see” him that “high up the park”, and give the way he’s defended in this tournament, most Danish fans would concur. As he shoots wide, we are told Jon-Dahl Tomasson is in a “goalscoring drought...

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World Cup 2010: Netherlands 1-0 Japan

Patrick Viera’s role on ITV’s panel is increasingly to give reassurance to the others that France are worse than England, which should be money for old rope but, after the Algeria game, isn’t. Attempts to shoehorn Edgar Davids into a similar role representing the Dutch are foundering, as they are now two wins out of two insipid performances. Davids’ voice sounds like mine does the morning after a heavy, heavy drinking session, but he seems entirely sober – although alongside Kevin Keegan, this is hardly “your mission, should you choose to accept it.” Inevitably, the build-up is all about the night before the morning after. Matt Smith has to say, eleven minutes before the kick-off: “We will talk about Holland and Japan, I promise.” I suppose I should be used to this by now. But it would be nice if Gabriel Clarke’s “news from the England camp” would, just once, acknowledge the first three letters of the word “news.” For a while, though, Holland are England, except with a nicer kit (apart from the shirt numbers, which are out-takes from a failed school art project, or are from the last piece of letraset left on the planet). Early in the game, Jon Champion seems convinced that Japan’s Yuichi Komano is feigning injury, greeting the appearance of a stretcher with “this usually sparks a recovery.” But two replays have already...

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World Cup 2010: Japan 1-0 Cameroon

Sloppy, unprofessional, boring, unimaginative. And that was just Guy Mowbray and Mark Lawrenson in the BBC commentary box. Whilst not personally agreeing with the decision, I could see reasons for Guy Mowbray getting the Beeb’s number one commentary spot ahead of Jonathan Pearce. Pandering to Mark Lawrenson’s base instincts was not among those reasons. Admittedly, the first 37 minutes of Japan v. Cameroon was dreck in the extreme. But Lawrenson in particular seemed determined almost from the kick-off that this would be the case. After five minutes he estimated that Japan “have given the ball away about once-a-minute.” Which made them about as good as England. And England started well. And by the time Japan scored even Mowbray had got bored with the predictability of it all. “Japan’s goal was against the run of play,” Mowbray noted. “What run of play?” came the response. “I knew you were going to say that,” Mowbray added, echoing the thoughts of the nation – those that hadn’t already turned the sound down. The commentators had insurmountable problems recognising an offside flag, pondering aloud that they hadn’t seen a foul on the Cameroon keeper over a picture of the referee’s assistant, flag resolutely pointing high across the pitch. And, never one to miss a stereotype, Mowbray had Japan’s bespectacled, besuited manager, Takeshi Okada, quickly marked down in the “inscrutable” column, although he at...

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World Cup Preview: Group E

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup now just four weeks away, you should by now be able to visualise those wretched pull-out “Come On England” St. George’s flags which come free with The Sun, slowly yellowing at the edges in living room windows up and down the land until mid-September. Nevertheless, we at Twohundredpercent will instead continue to focus on the football. With that in mind, we sent Dotmund on another fact-finding mission with little else than a media badge from the 2006 World Club Championship in his pocket and a dream. Today, he looks at the colourful and exciting Group E.

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Good Hosts and Bad Hosts

Until someone figures out how to astroturf the moon and stop the corner flags floating away, all major sporting events have to take place somewhere. And when you have somewhere, you can rest assured that someone already lives there. The host nation and the home advantage are here to stay.

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