The English media are going to have a field day over this result. It would be nice if they actually supported their national team but then it wouldn’t be England now would it.
I didn’t think its possible for a team to play so poorly against a team who played quite well and win but England did it. Their second half was much better then the first both defensively and offensively. They maintained possession a little more and actually had decent opportunities to score but lets not gloss over anything. England were very poor and this sort of play will not do them any favors in South Africa.
Kudos to Japan as they proved they belong at the WC and should give their Group E opponents some trouble. They just got to maybe deal with clearing incoming crosses a little better!
TWEEET TWEET TWEET – Game over…thank god.
90:00 - Japan take a corner and a random touch has the ball bounce of the England bar. That would have been a comical goal as neither team had any idea what was happening.
89:00 – From the resulting goal kick Gerrard gets the ball on the wing and sends a lovely cross into the box that Heskey dives onto but his header is just wide. Better from England. One would hope that next time they play (June 12th) they will have their “stuff” together.
88:00 – Japan with a free kick about 45 yards out. Specialist Honda lines it up but his shot goes over the bar. Really raining hard here in Austria.
83:00 – GOOOOOALLL – Ashley Cole. That was more of a cross than anything else and actually is an own goal by Nakazawa. It was a difficult cross to deal with as was Joe Coles but England now lead 2-1.
82:00 – SWP gets the ball and moves it across the halfway line and tries to play in Heskey who lumbers onto it but can’t keep it in play.
81:00 – England pass it around nicely with some nice one twos between Rooney and Gerrard with the latter latching onto it but is well muscled out. Nicer from the three lions.
75:00 – Heskey on for Lennon. Lets see if him and Rooney can create that “magic” they have together.
72:00 – GOOOOOOALLL. Tanaka – own goal. Sadly for Japan. Joe Cole is played in nicely and sends in a low cross that Tanaka dives for and heads into his own net. Tanaka also gave up the penalty. You got the sense the goal was coming but this was unlucky. England 1 – Japan 1
71:00 – Meanwhile SWP reminds us why he should not be on the plane as he shows too much of the ball and gets caught in possession. He tries to win the ball back tenaciously but fails.
69:00 – England showing some intent as they start to boss the midfield. Lampard finds Rooney who shoots a curling ball toward the top corner but Kawashima makes a fine save and it goes out for a corner.
67:00 – Freshly introduced sub Morimoto, turns and shoots and pulls out a fine save from Hart. A nice play from Japan but Hart is more than equal to the task.
64:00 – Rooney takes a long shot pretty much born of frustration which is easily saved by Kawashima. England had a nice counter but Lennon’s final ball can’t find Rooney. Still not impressive by England.
58:00 – SWP playing like his England spot is on the line and doing well at going at the Japanese defenders but the ball is lost. England are getting being frustrated by a well organized Japanese team.
56:00 – WOW…terrible penalty miss by Lampard (though a nice save from the keeper). This is a new low for England. They are playing better but amusingly, they are burned from the spot!
54:00 – SWP showing some initiative as he lunges and charges for three successive balls and then runs down the ball. Lampard gets fouled and sends the free kick into the ball but its punched clear by the defender. Penalty.
53:00 – England playing a little more organized football here. Really its not hard to improve on the first half but at this point anything is good.
51:00 – Honda sends in a crack of shot that just goes over. Should have been a corner bit what a shot out of nothing by the Japanese midfielder.
TWEEET - Second half is under way and England kick it off. Gerrard has a shot at goal that is saved by the keeper but England are already playing better. This means they struck three consecutive passes together.
So no first team 11 on for the second half. Hart on for James, Joe Cole on for Bent, Carragher on for Johnson, Gerrard on for Huddlestone and SWP for Walcott…Well I guess he needs to see everyone…
PEEEEP – Halftime. Japan scored a well taken goal and England were just plain awful. Not much else to say.
43:00 – Walcott has gotten the memo to wake up as well and sends a nice cross into the box after going around two defenders. This is all too late though as the half is winding down. I really hope that Capello inserts subs who will be starting on June 12th or at least players who are going to be more creative and show a little more Oomph.
41:00 – Aaron Lennon beginning to wake up now as he uses his pace to push the ball around the Japanese half but suffers a bit from the Walcotts and his final pass is poor.
39:00 - Technical problems effecting us here at TSG studios but nothing has been missed. England showing very little creativity and aside from Rooney and Huddlestone not laying well. This is very poor from England.
30:00 – Route 1 football nearly pays off but Bents header goes wide. England cannot get any rhythm. I would be easy to say that England are playing badly which they are but that would take the credit away from Japan who are very organized and keeping great shape and possession, everything that England arn’t.
26:00 - Slick passing by Japan as England are not in sync at all. The back 4 should be organized and are cleaning up for the mistakes being made by the 4 up front.
21:00 - Ferdinand makes his customary one big mistake a game and completely wiffs at a bouncing ball and Okazaki latches onto it but sends his shot over the bar. The United defender can be world class but he can also be a liability when he’s not concentrating.
19:00 – England are just making wayward passes. Rooney drives at the Japanese defenders and sends in a lovely through ball for Lennon who one times it straight at Kawashima. Decent save from the keeper but Lennon should have done a lot better.
16:00 – England give up another corner. The game has become a bit of a bore though England not looking too sharp on set plays. England through some confusion clear without any problems.
10:00 - Japan keep pressing and look for a second but the strikers shot is wide of the post. England wake up and are trying to maintain possession but they’re a little dis-jointed. Look for Capello to play a more refined side in the second half…or will he keep experimenting?
7:00 – GOOOOOAL – Tanaka. Great worked goal by Japan. From a corner its played low on the ground and the defender rushes in and beats Johnson and taps it in. Very poor from England but a well worked corner. England 0 – Japan 1
4:00 – England are going all on the speed front using both Lennon and Walcott down the wings. Walcott is fouled down the left side but Lampards free kick goes out for a thrown in.
2:00 – A long kick from David James finds Darren Bent’s head which in turn is chased by Rooney. His slow cross though is easily saved by the keeper, Narazaki.
TWEEEET and Japan kick it off
Japan have not started their world cup friendlies very well as they were 3-0 and 2-0 losers to Serbia and South Korea respectively. On june 4th they will meet the Ivory Coast in switzerland in their last match before they start their WC campaign against Cameroon on June 14th.
They’ve made every WC since 1998 hosting it and getting past the group stages in 2002 but not much is expected of them in South Africa. They’re a neat and tidy side with Shunsuke Nakamure being their most well known current player. He was a dynamic midfielder for Celtic between 2005-09.
England were 3-1 winners in their last match against a much better Mexican side. They didn’t play well but they still won and did it missing a third of their starting lineup. Other group C members were in action in the past two days as Algeria lost 3-0 to Ireland and the US were 2-1 winners against Turkey.
Today they will give run outs to Huddlestone and Daren Bent to see if they can make the final 23 roster. Capello says he knows 20 but that there are 3 spots left.
The line ups:
England: David James, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Tom Huddlestone, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Theo Walcott, Frank Lampard, Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon.
Japan: Seigo Narazaki, Atsuto Uchida, Yuji Nakazawa, Tulio Tanake, Yuto Nagatomo, Junichi Inamoto, Makoto Hasebe, Shunsuke Nakamura, Keisuke Honda, Daisuke Matsui, Shinji Okazaki.
Good morning all,
All the WC team are going through their various warm up games and friendlies in order to prepare and do last minute tinkering, I’m doing the same thing from the point of view of getting up early to do live commentary. What combination of pre-night activity will have me best suited to be sharp and witty? Is coffee important or do i just stay awake drinking dark and stormies? Do I sleep in my bed or on the couch or not sleep at all? Is their a Bornstein equivalent in my preparation? I certainly hope not!