Soccer Topics

Halilhodzic concerned about state of Japanese soccer

Japan may be perched at the top of its second-round group in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but coach Vahid Halilhodzic has branded his team a “third-division” outfit and says he fears for the future of the J. League. In an end-of-year interview, the Bosnian delivered a bleak ...

Dec 14, 2015

Japan U22s play out friendly stalemate with Uzbekistan

Japan’s Under-22 soccer team was held to its second scoreless draw in four days Sunday in a friendly against Uzbekistan. Fagiano Okayama’s Shinya Yajima, who started in right midfield as a replacement for the injured Gakuto Notsuda, failed to convert chances as Japan wrapped ...

FIFA representative Tashima to run for JFA presidency

Dec 7, 2015

FIFA representative Tashima to run for JFA presidency

FIFA executive committee member Kozo Tashima announced on Monday that he will run for the Japan Football Association presidency. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Tashima said. “Everything I’ve said over the last 10 years I hope to stand by.” Tashima, 58, ...

Japan trounces Singapore in World Cup qualifier

Nov 12, 2015

Japan trounces Singapore in World Cup qualifier

Mu Kanazaki marked his return from the international wilderness with his first national team goal as Japan whipped Singapore 3-0 on Thursday in a second-round Asian qualifier for the 2018 World Cup. Kanazaki opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a fine effort and ...

Halilhodzic out for 'revenge' against Singapore

Nov 11, 2015

Halilhodzic out for 'revenge' against Singapore

Vahid Halilhodzic will be looking for some attacking spark when revenge-minded Japan faces Singapore away on Thursday in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in the Asian second-round Group E. Halilhodzic’s men were held to an embarrassing 0-0 draw in their opening match at home ...

Nov 8, 2015

Higashiguchi pulls out of Japan squad for World Cup qualifiers

Gamba Osaka goalkeeper Masaaki Higashiguchi has pulled out of Japan’s squad for its upcoming World Cup qualifiers away to Singapore and Cambodia due to injury, the Japan Football Association said on Saturday. Higashiguchi hurt his right knee in Gamba’s 2-0 defeat at home to ...

Kanazaki called up for World Cup qualifiers

Nov 5, 2015

Kanazaki called up for World Cup qualifiers

Kashima Antlers striker Mu Kanazaki earned his first national call-up in five years as Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Thursday named his squad for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers away to Singapore and Cambodia. Sagan Tosu goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi and FC Tokyo defender ...

Honda says Japan didn't deliver best performance

Oct 9, 2015

Honda says Japan didn't deliver best performance

Keisuke Honda has issued Japan with a must-do-better report despite a 3-0 win over Syria in a key 2018 World Cup qualifier in neutral Oman on Thursday night. Japan struggled to break down Syria in the first half, but Honda put his team ahead ...

Japan downs Syria 3-0 in World Cup qualifier

Oct 9, 2015

Japan downs Syria 3-0 in World Cup qualifier

Japan swept past Syria 3-0 in neutral Oman on Thursday to seize top spot in second-round Group E in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Keisuke Honda converted from the penalty spot in the 55th minute to give Japan the lead ...

Striker Minamino earns first call-up under Halilhodzic

Oct 1, 2015

Striker Minamino earns first call-up under Halilhodzic

Salzburg striker Takumi Minamino won his first senior national team call-up under Vahid Halilhodzic as the Japan coach named his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Syria. AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda and Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa were included in the 23-man squad as ...

Japan trounces Afghanistan

Sep 9, 2015

Japan trounces Afghanistan

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Leicester City hitman Shinji Okazaki both scored twice as Japan destroyed Afghanistan 6-0 on Tuesday to pick up its second win in Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Masato Morishige and Keisuke Honda were also ...