Jul 23, 2014

Japan to play September friendly against Uruguay

The Japan Football Association announced Wednesday that the Samurai Blue will take the field in September against Uruguay, in their first game since the recently completed World Cup. The game, set for Sept. 5 at Sapporo Dome, will be Japan’s first under new management ...

Stojkovic denies being approached about managing Japan

Jun 28, 2014

Stojkovic denies being approached about managing Japan

by Gus Fielding

Former Nagoya Grampus boss Dragan Stojkovic on Friday denied a report he has been approached by the Japan Football Association about the vacant national team coach’s job following the resignation of Italian Alberto Zaccheroni. But the 49-year-old Stojkovic, who steered Grampus to the J. ...

Honda vows to fight on despite defeat

Jun 25, 2014

Honda vows to fight on despite defeat

No matter how tough the going gets, Keisuke Honda never shows signs of defeat, a testament to the Japanese international’s mental strength. But on Tuesday, after Colombia’s Jackson Martinez put the game out of Japan’s reach with his second goal in the 82nd minute, ...

Zaccheroni left with regrets

Jun 25, 2014

Zaccheroni left with regrets

by Gus Fielding

Coach Alberto Zaccheroni conceded he must share the blame for Japan’s failure to make their mark at the two most important competitions of his four-year tenure after the Samurai Blue were dumped out of the World Cup in the first round on Tuesday. Zaccheroni, ...

Colombia eliminates Japan from World Cup

Jun 25, 2014

Colombia eliminates Japan from World Cup

by Gus Fielding

A second-half attacking master class from Jackson Martinez and substitute James Rodriguez obliterated Japan’s wafer-thin hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the World Cup as Colombia eliminated the Asian champions with a 4-1 win in their final Group C match on Tuesday. ...

Power play 'not in Japan's DNA,' admits Zaccheroni

Jun 22, 2014

Power play 'not in Japan's DNA,' admits Zaccheroni

by Gus Fielding

Clearly feeling the heat as the sun looks ready to set on Japan’s World Cup, coach Alberto Zaccheroni has defended his decision to deploy power-play tactics, but conceded his players have struggled to adapt because it is “not in their DNA.” The Asian champions’ ...

Kagawa accepts fate

Jun 21, 2014

Kagawa accepts fate

by Gus Fielding

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has admitted he deserved to start on the bench in Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Greece after struggling in Japan’s opening game at the World Cup. Although coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters after the Greece match that his decision to ...