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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 ...

Bremen's Yuya Osako nets third league goal

Soccer Dec 2, 2018

Bremen's Yuya Osako nets third league goal

Japan international Yuya Osako scored his third goal of the season on Saturday in Werder Bremen's 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old striker headed the equalizer in the 33rd minute from a right-footed cross by Max Kruse. But Bayern's Serge Gnabry netted the game-winning ...

Japan trounces Kyrgyzstan in final friendly before Asian Cup

Soccer Nov 20, 2018

Japan trounces Kyrgyzstan in final friendly before Asian Cup

Japan proved a cut above in its last friendly before next year's Asian Cup, beating Kyrgyzstan 4-0 on Tuesday. A second-minute strike by national team debutant Ryosuke Yamanaka set the tone, with Genki Haraguchi adding another midway through the first half and substitutes Yuya Osako ...

New stars shine for Samurai Blue

Soccer Oct 17, 2018

New stars shine for Samurai Blue

by Dan Orlowitz

A squad in transition following a surprisingly successful run in the World Cup. A new head coach establishing his vision. A South American opponent ranked fifth in the world. A sold-out Saitama Stadium. An impressive win that fans will look back on as having ...

Japan strikes early, holds off Uruguay in thrilling friendly

Soccer Oct 16, 2018

Japan strikes early, holds off Uruguay in thrilling friendly

Takumi Minamino scored a brace, while Ritsu Doan netted his first international goal, as Japan's rising stars spearheaded a 4-3 win over Uruguay on Tuesday night. In their third outing under manager Hajime Moriyasu, the Samurai Blue displayed an impressive attacking game as they outplayed ...