Category: Japan

Honda puts boot into fired Japan coach Halilhodzic

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan forward Keisuke Honda has slammed former national team boss Vahid Halilhodzic’s methods as the fallout from his abrupt dismissal as coach continued in the run-up to the World Cup. The talismanic 31-year-old, who had become a peripheral figure under Halilhodzic, told Japanese broadcaster NHK that he was frustrated at the rigid tactics being deployed by the firebrand Franco-Bosnian. “I don’t have any regrets (about the change of leadership),” Honda said in a documentary that aired late on Monday. “To submit myself to the kind of football Halilhodzic played in order to get picked, that would be ... Read more

New Japan coach eyes World Cup second round

Tokyo (Japan) (AFP) – Japan’s new football coach said Thursday he was aiming to get the Blue Samurai out of a tricky World Cup group, days after being parachuted in as an “emergency measure”. “I want to get through the first round, of course. I think we will be fully competitive and will be able to challenge,” Akira Nishino told a packed press conference in Tokyo. Japan have a tough group in Russia this summer, drawn against Colombia, Poland and Senegal. Nishino, 63, was drafted in on Monday as an “emergency measure” — in the words of the Japan Football Association ... Read more

Japan coach eyes Colombia ‘revenge’ after World Cup draw

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic promised to avenge his side’s humiliating 4-1 thrashing by Colombia at the 2014 World Cup following Friday’s draw for next summer’s finals in Russia. The firebrand Franco-Bosnian admitted “it could have been worse” after the Blue Samurai were drawn alongside the Colombians, Senegal and Poland in Group H for their sixth successive World Cup appearance. “There was the possibility of finding ourselves in a more difficult group,” Halilhodzic told Japanese media. “H is for Halilhodzic,” joked the 65-year-old, pointing to Japan’s opening game with Colombia as key to his side’s progress at the ... Read more

HBO special on Tom Byer’s plan to rescue American men’s soccer is a must-watch

HBO’s special begins with footage of the United States Men’s National Team being defeated by Trinidad and Tobago in the final World Cup qualifier from the CONCACAF Hex. Seconds later, USSF presidential candidate Kyle Martino utters the words, “US Soccer thinks they have all the answers. And they’re not, in its current iteration, willing to ask the experts for help. On the men’s side, that’s been catastrophic.” From the beginning of this 13-minute special that will air on HBO tonight on the show Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, the broadcast is spellbinding. But instead of rehashing the reasons why the ... Read more

Ticket details for US Women’s National Team summer tournament against Brazil, Japan and Australia

Tickets will go on sale soon for this summer’s Tournament of Nations competition featuring the women’s teams of the United States, Brazil, Japan and Australia. The round-robin tournament will feature three doubleheaders that will celebrate some of the world’s premier women’s soccer players, many of whom compete in the National Women’s Soccer League. The games will be played in Seattle, San Diego and Carson. For the doubleheaders in San Diego and Los Angeles, tickets go on sale to the public via on Friday, May 19, at 10 a.m. PT. For the tournament opener in Seattle, tickets become available on ... Read more

Saudi fury as Japan boost World Cup hopes

Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Japan beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a foul-tempered qualifier Tuesday as a debatable Hiroshi Kiyotake penalty boosted their hopes of qualifying for a sixth successive World Cup in 2018. The Blue Samurai drew level with the Group B leaders on 10 points after a tempestuous clash in Saitama, where Kiyotake’s spot kick and a Genki Haraguchi effort eased the pressure on under-fire coach Vahid Halilhodzic. Saudi Arabia pulled a late goal back through Omar Othman but it was not enough for the visitors to rescue a draw. Kiyotake converted on the stroke of half-time after Saudi ... Read more

Where to find Japan vs. Saudi Arabia on US TV and streaming

If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Japan vs. Saudi Arabia, you’ve come to the right place. In this important World Cup qualifier, Japan can go level on points in Group B with leaders Saudi Arabia if Japan can win the match. However, if Japan lose, the Japanese team will be six points behind Saudi Arabia, which could mean that Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic will lose his job. Here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming: Match: Japan vs. Saudi Arabia Genre: Sports Looking to watch Japan ... Read more

Japan on high alert for Saudi ‘provocateurs’

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic on Friday warned his players against Saudi Arabia’s “specialists in provocation” in a home World Cup qualifier this month that could potentially decide his own future. The Franco-Bosnian, whose position as head coach has been plunged into doubt after a disappointing 2018 qualifying campaign, has named a full-strength side for the November 15 clash in Saitama. “Firstly, it’s a six-pointer and we know we must win,” said Halilhodzic, who will be desperate for victory after watching the Blue Samurai slip to third in their group in the final round of Asian 2018 qualifying. ... Read more