Players say tactics are part of game

Soccer / World Cup Jun 30, 2018

Players say tactics are part of game

Japan players on Friday acknowledged criticism of the tactics that saw them settle for a 1-0 loss against Poland the previous day, but said they were simply doing what was needed to secure the Samurai Blue's first World Cup knockout-stage berth since 2010. The squad ...

Soccer Apr 24, 2018

Marseille's Hiroki Sakai sidelined with knee injury

Marseille defender Hiroki Sakai will be out at least three weeks with a knee injury, the French first-division club said Monday. The Japan international hurt the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Saturday in Marseille's 5-1 home victory over Lille in Ligue 1. The recovery ...

Marseille's Hiroki Sakai scores goal on 28th birthday

Soccer Apr 13, 2018

Marseille's Hiroki Sakai scores goal on 28th birthday

Japan defender Hiroki Sakai netted a goal on his birthday Thursday as Marseille beat Leipzig 5-2 to book a spot in the final four of the Europa League. Sakai, who turned 28, scored Marseille's final goal during injury time of the second leg of the ...

Shu Kurata's late header lifts Japan over New Zealand

Soccer Oct 6, 2017

Shu Kurata's late header lifts Japan over New Zealand

Shu Kurata opened his international account with a late header to propel Japan past New Zealand 2-1 in a friendly on Friday. With three minutes left on the clock, substitute Kurata dove into a ball headed back to him by Hiroki Sakai after a left-wing ...

Marseille gives defender Hiroki Sakai one-year contract extension

Soccer Sep 30, 2017

Marseille gives defender Hiroki Sakai one-year contract extension

French first-division side Marseille said Friday it has extended the contract of Japan international defender Hiroki Sakai by one season. The 27-year-old Sakai joined the club from German first-division side Hannover in June 2016, and has started in 11 games with the French team. The contract ...

Soccer Jun 24, 2016

Japan defender Sakai to join Marseille

Japan defender Hiroki Sakai will join French Ligue 1 outfit Marseille after his contract expired with Bundesliga club Hannover, the French side announced Thursday. The 26-year-old played for Hannover, which will be relegated to the German league's second division, since transferring from the J. League's ...

Soccer Apr 16, 2016

Kiyotake, Sakai play part in Hannover triumph

Hiroshi Kiyotake and Hiroki Sakai helped bottom-side Hannover secure their first three points in seven games in the Bundesliga on Friday in their 2-0 home win over Borussia Monchengladbach, avoiding relegation in this round of fixtures. Hannover went ahead in the 49th minute when Waldemar ...

Defender Sakai aims to make impact in Uchida's absence

Soccer Jun 13, 2015

Defender Sakai aims to make impact in Uchida's absence

by Gus Fielding

Japan defender Hiroki Sakai is determined to capitalize on the injury-enforced absence of Atsuto Uchida and also cement his place in the team at right-back at the expense of his namesake after a solid performance in Thursday's 4-0 World Cup qualifying warm-up win over ...