Japan shocked by Jordan

Japan had the chance to be the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday night. On paper it looked straight forward but it seems they underestimated a rejuvenated Jordan side and went down to a surprise defeat.

 

In all likelihood Japan will still become the first team to qualify but the result in Amman mixes up Group B and heaps extra pressure on 3rd place Australia.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Japan 6 4 1 1 14 4 +10 13
 Jordan 6 2 1 3 6 12 −6 7
 Australia 5 1 3 1 6 6 0 6
 Oman 6 1 3 2 6 9 −3 6
 Iraq 5 1 2 2 4 5 −1 5

The 2-1 win for Jordan was all the more remarkable considering the respective tie in Japan ended with a 6-0 hammering.

Japan had been in control of the match during the first half with only the crossbar denying them a lead. However in injury time Khalil Bani Attiah leaped above the defence to direct a header past the Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

The “Blue Samurai” continued to dominate play in the 2nd half but were again caught on the counter with 60 minutes gone. Ahmed Hayel collected a loose ball and set off like Usain Bolt down the right hand side before cutting into the Japan box then passing the ball under Kawashima into the net. The crowd went wild while the Jordanian bench looked shocked.

The Japanese stepped up the pace in pursuit of a draw and managed to grab one back in the 69th minute through Manchester United’s, Shinji Kagawa. Then went on to concede a penalty 90 seconds later. Disaster looked imminent.

Japanese veteran, Yasuhito Endo took the spot kick but was denied by Amer Sabbah, sealing a vital 3 points.

In group B’s other match Australia narrowly avoided a shocking upset against Oman.Tim Cahill and a 25-yard strike by Brett Holman in the 85th minute salvages a poor home draw.

In Group A, Uzbekistan beat Lebanon 1 -0 at home to consolidate their position at the top while South Korea struggled to a 2-1  win over Oman in Seoul.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Uzbekistan 6 3 2 1 6 4 +2 11
 South Korea 5 3 1 1 11 5 +6 10
 Iran 5 2 1 2 2 2 0 7
 Qatar 6 2 1 3 4 7 −3 7
 Lebanon 6 1 1 4 2 7 −5 4

Competition should be fierce in the last matches of Asian qualification. With only the top two teams from each group guaranteeing qualification. The two 3rd place teams will then play-off, with the winner then playing-off against the 5th place team in the CONMEBOL table (currently a fight between Venezuela, Uruguay and Chile).

England fans reported for racist chants.

For those who missed it :

“Build a bonfire, build a bonfire

Put Rio on the top

Put Anton in the middle

Then burn the f****** lot”

Was the supposed chant by the England fans at the Montenegro match on Tuesday night.

It did not escape the attentions of Football anti-racism network Fare who duly reported the singing as having racial overtones.

Coupled with the sickening chants at the San Marino game it seems that English will have to  accept that they, too, have a racist element in the hordes. It will be a bitter pill to swallow given that the FA and supporters have been tirelessly clapping themselves on the back and quickly pointing the finger at everyone from Spain to the Ukraine, of late.

This comes after a suspension for their former captain, John Terry and the “Kick it Out” campaign in ruin.

Oliver Holt in today’s Mirror hits the nail on the head:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/england-sickening-chants-against-rio-1786627

Best football scene in a movie.

There have been attempts to reproduce the beautiful game on the silver screen but none have come near to this scene (for British footballers of a certain age at least).

Taken from Ken Loach’s “Kes”, a film about a young boy and his pet Kestrel. The overbearing teacher is Brian Glover (Alien 3, American Werewolf in London).

3 Millones Documentary trailer

“3 Millones” (3 million) is a documentary about a father and son that follow the Uruguayan national football team during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

It’s a refreshing look at the football matches, supporters and African hosts. The father is a famous singer and musician, Jaime Ross and his son, Yamandu is a photographer.

Both are passionate fans and this comes across brilliantly (although the match reports are very, very biased).

Comes with English subtitles on itunes.

ps.The population of Uruguay is 3 million

Out before everybody. Scotland have reached the bottom.

It’s impossible for Scotland to make Brazil. In truth we have known for a long time, maybe as soon as the draw was made, but we didn’t think it would end so poorly.

Winless and gutless the Scottish national team lie rooted to the bottom of Group A. A tally of 2 points from 6 games is pitiful in the extreme. We now lie alongside San Marino, Liechtenstein and Malta as International minnows.

 

Belgium 6 5 16
Croatia 6 5 16
Serbia 6 2 7
Wales 6 2 6
Macedonia 6 1 4
Scotland 6 0 2

 

This is as rotten as it comes for a supporter: out of the reckoning before things have even started. The remaining ties are meaningless and we are now playing for pride.

Many supporters will feel helpless and unsure of where we are going to end up. International wilderness is a real possibility. In fact a probability if not an actual current reality.

It’s all got too much to bare.

 

In truth it has been a long descent. Alike a horse stuck in quicksand, slowly sinking to the bottom. There have been small moments of resistance and defiance along the way but these have only delayed the inevitable and no one is going haul us out.

Against Serbia tonight, the farmer finally came along and unloaded two shells into our skull. A mercy killing.

Gordon Strachan has inherited a nightmare: a squad devoid of any real class and lacking any semblance of confidence. His is a long term project. But I do feel he is the right man to take us forward. At least he has enthusiasm and ideas.

Strachan blooded Liam Bridcutt and George Boyd against Serbia and this is where any hope of revival exists. Fresh and young talent. But it will be a long road to recovery. I doubt on the strength of the last few matches that France 2016 is even realisable.

 

That’s enough. This is too depressing.