Japan men's soccer team climbs to No. 27 in world rankings

Soccer Feb 7, 2019

Japan men's soccer team climbs to No. 27 in world rankings

Japan jumped 23 spots to No. 27 in the FIFA world rankings announced Thursday following its runner-up finish in the just-concluded Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The Samurai Blue placed in the top 30 for the first time since 2013. They ranked No. ...

Qatar upsets Japan 3-1 to claim first Asian Cup title

Soccer Feb 2, 2019

Qatar upsets Japan 3-1 to claim first Asian Cup title

Qatar foiled Japan’s bid for a record-extending fifth Asian Cup title on Friday, winning the tournament for the first time in a 3-1 upset. Golden Boot winner and tournament MVP Almoez Ali scored an early opener before Abdelaziz Hatim added a second as Felix Sanchez’s ...

Do or die for Samurai Blue

Soccer | From the Spot Jan 31, 2019

Do or die for Samurai Blue

by Dan Orlowitz

This week has provided ample opportunity for all of us who doubted Japan's ability to reach the Asian Cup final to take a long, deep drink from the fountain of hubris. Few expected Japan to defeat Iran, the heavily favored Asia No. 1 which entered ...

Japan books spot in Asian Cup final

Soccer Jan 29, 2019

Japan books spot in Asian Cup final

Striker Yuya Osako netted a second-half brace as Japan advanced to the Asian Cup final with a 3-0 win over Iran on Monday. The Werder Bremen forward made an emphatic return to the starting lineup at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, scoring in open play before ...

Japan fails to shift attack into gear

Soccer | From the Spot Jan 23, 2019

Japan fails to shift attack into gear

by Dan Orlowitz

"Defense wins championships," as the old saying goes. The Samurai Blue certainly needed plenty of it on Monday after maintaining less than 24 percent possession over 90 minutes of their Asian Cup round of 16 win against Saudi Arabia under the baking sun at Sharjah ...

Japan must step up after shaky group stage

Soccer Jan 20, 2019

Japan must step up after shaky group stage

by Dan Orlowitz

No more friendlies. No more minnows. No more excuses. Warmups are over for the Samurai Blue. The four-time Asian champions will begin the final march toward a fifth continental title on Monday when they face Saudi Arabia in the 2019 Asian Cup's Round of 16. Should ...