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 Andrew MCKIRDY

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Andrew MCKIRDY
Andrew McKirdy is a sports writer for The Japan Times. His main beat is soccer, but he has also covered rugby, tennis, volleyball, golf and even tug-of-war. A native of the Scottish Borders, he has written for The Scotsman newspaper and organized filming for a program on Japanese soccer for ITV television.
Qatar players celebrate after defeating Lebanon in the opening match of the Asian Cup on Friday in Lusail, Qatar.
SOCCER
Jan 13, 2024
Qatar puts World Cup heartache behind it to win Asian Cup opener
The hosts beat Lebanon 3-0 at the 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, where a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina beat France on penalties in the World Cup final 13 months ago.
Japan midfielder Kaoru Mitoma controls the ball during extra time of the team's Round of 16 match against Croatia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Mitoma was named to the Samurai Blue squad for the upcoming Asian Cup despite an ankle injury.
SOCCER
Jan 4, 2024
Samurai Blue call on Mitoma to help erase Asian Cup 'frustration'
Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi said late last year that Mitoma would be out for up to six weeks after hurting his ankle in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Dec. 21.
Naoya Inoue fights Marlon Tapales  during their four-belt super bantamweight title unification match at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Tuesday.
MORE SPORTS / Boxing
Dec 27, 2023
Naoya Inoue still hungry after becoming undisputed super bantamweight champ
Naoya Inoue has said that he intends to retire at 35 but he hinted earlier this year that he might prolong his career for two extra years.
Eddie Jones at a news conference after being named as Japan rugby head coach in Tokyo on Thursday
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Dec 14, 2023
No guilt for Eddie Jones after taking Japan job
Jones quit his native Australia after leading them to a dismal showing at the Rugby World Cup.
Japan head coach Eddie Jones celebrates after the team's victory over the U.S. at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Dec 14, 2023
Make friends, start winning again: Eddie Jones' to-do list
Here are five challenges facing 63-year-old Eddie Jones as he returns to the Brave Blossoms.
Japan head coach Eddie Jones before a game against Scotland at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Jones will be returning to the post, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced Wednesday.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Dec 14, 2023
Wounded Eddie Jones has plenty to prove on Japan return
The 63-year-old is revered in Japan for masterminding their "Miracle of Brighton" win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.
Eddie Jones is set to become the head coach of the Brave Blossoms six weeks after the Australian quit the Wallabies following their dismal showing at the World Cup.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Dec 13, 2023
Eddie Jones named as Japan head coach, ending weeks of speculation
Jones will officially commence his duties from Jan. 1, the Japan Rugby Football Union said on its website.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane following a news conference to announce his debut in Japan Rugby League One
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Dec 7, 2023
World Cup stars 'make some coin' as Japan rugby season kicks off
Seven All Blacks and six Springboks from the World Cup final are now in Japan Rugby League One as it looks to take its profile to a new level.
A member of the India team sorts through rubbish at the end of the first round of the Spogomi World Cup 2023 final, in which teams pick up as much rubbish as possible in a set amount of time, in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Wednesday.
JAPAN
Nov 22, 2023
Load of rubbish: Litter-hunters vie for world title in Tokyo
The Spogomi World Cup saw 21 countries battle it out to collect the most rubbish within a set time limit.
South Korea's head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (center) speaks to his players during a training session at Mokdong Stadium on Nov. 13, ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifying match between South Korea and Singapore.
SOCCER
Nov 14, 2023
Warning for Japan as Asian heavyweights begin World Cup qualifying
A record eight direct spots and one intercontinental playoff berth are up for grabs for Asian Football Confederation sides at the expanded event in 2026.
Collin Morikawa receives the winner's trophy after the final round of the Zozo Championship in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, on Sunday.
MORE SPORTS / Golf
Oct 22, 2023
Collin Morikawa cruises to Zozo Championship title
The two-time major winner was playing his first tournament since being part of the American team that failed to retain the Ryder Cup in Rome.
Japan's Yoshino Nakashima scores a goal during the team's victory over North Korea on Friday in the gold medal match at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
SOCCER
Oct 7, 2023
Team Japan defies crowd to top North Korea for Asian Games soccer gold
The crowd in the Chinese city of Hangzhou was overwhelmingly in North Korea's favor and booed the Japanese players when they went on the attack.
Squash officials have attempted to make the sport more accessible to viewers in a push for Olympic recognition.
OLYMPICS
Oct 3, 2023
Squash desperate to end 'very weird' Olympic exile in 2028
Squash is one of nine sports vying for a place at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, along with the likes of cricket, lacrosse and motorsports.
Germany's Dennis Schroder lifts the trophy after his team's win over Serbia in the Basketball World Cup final in Manila on Sunday.
BASKETBALL
Sep 11, 2023
'Team-first' mentality carries Germany to first Basketball World Cup title
Both Germany and Serbia had already qualified for next year's Paris Olympics as the World Cup's two highest-placed European teams.
Japan center Dylan Riley (left) escapes from Italy's center Luca Morisi during a match on Aug. 26.
MORE SPORTS / Rugby
Aug 31, 2023
Japan ready to shake off COVID-19 legacy at Rugby World Cup
The Brave Blossoms beat Ireland and Scotland to reach the quarterfinals for the first time four years ago, sparking rugby-mania across the nation.
Japan Times
SOCCER / Women's World Cup
Jul 21, 2023
Nadeshiko Japan's Women's World Cup glory now distant memory as nation lags far behind rivals
Japan begins its latest World Cup campaign against Zambia on Saturday, but is ranked 11th now and no longer among the favorites.
Japan Times
SOCCER / Women's World Cup
Jul 12, 2023
Fukushima-born Jun Endo ready to run free for Japan at World Cup
The Angel City forward recalls watching the 2011 final in the middle of the night with her parents and three siblings, describing it as 'a turning point' in her life.
Japan Times
Rugby
Jun 20, 2023
Ethnic Korean Lee Seung-sin hopes to set example in Japan's RWC squad
The fly-half was among 36 players named in Japan's test squad as Jamie Joseph begins his preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Japan Times
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball
Jun 13, 2023
Speed demons: the 'uriko' beer vendors of Japanese baseball
At Tokyo Dome, vendors sell an average of about 20,000 glasses of beer at a night game.
Japan Times
Rugby
Jun 12, 2023
Jamie Joseph confident Brave Blossoms' style can give England trouble at Rugby World Cup
Joseph, who led Japan to the quarterfinals in 2019, says his team can 'achieve anything.'

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