Antlers keep Japanese interest high

THEY WERE little more than the token host nation representative to keep local interest alive, but Kashima Antlers are now one game away from the FIFA Club World Cup final. The Antlers won their second game in the 2016 competition when they beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-final game in Osaka. This follows their previous win against Auckland in the preliminary round. It has been a busy week for the Antlers as they won the J-League only last weekend, beating Urawa Reds in the final. They showed great resilience against a Mamelodi side that dominated the first period and looked … Continue reading Antlers keep Japanese interest high

Sanfrecce Hiroshima keep the host flame alive

QUIETLY, QUIETLY, the FIFA Club World Cup kicked-off in Yokohama’s impressive stadium (left) with Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima beating Auckland City in the play-off to see who went through to the last six. Only 19,000 people attended the game, which Sanfrecce won 2-0. Yusuke Minagawa and Tsukasa Shiotani scored the goals, one early on and the decisive second 20 minutes from time. People ask why Japan is frequently chosen to host this annual event, which is still struggling to make any sort of wave of interest in Europe. Game of the People has a theory. Since the competition became a … Continue reading Sanfrecce Hiroshima keep the host flame alive

The J-League and evolution

Japan were the first team to qualify for Brazil 2014, apart from the hosts of course. Reaching the World Cup finals is becoming a regular occurrence for Japan, it will be the fifth consecutive tournament they have taken part in, underlining that they are one of Asia’s top football nations. Japan’s love of the game was boosted by their co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup, so much so that they want to do it again. With the world looking for an excuse to take the 2022 games away from Qatar, Japan have voiced their interest in stepping-in to provide a … Continue reading The J-League and evolution